Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is intended to be the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Glenn Close, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, and Kurt Russell. In Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the Guardians help Peter Quill learn more about his father.
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Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was officially announced at San Diego Comic-Con International 2014 before the theatrical release of the first film, along with Gunn’s involvement once again, with the title of the film revealed a year later in June 2015. The film began principal photography in February 2016 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2017, in 3D and IMAX.
There are no two ways about it: James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be an absolutely massive hit. Not only did it earn some of the best reviews of 2014, it also turned out to be massively popular with movie-goers and a box office smash. With all of the buzz going into opening weekend, it was barely a surprise when Marvel Studios announced before the first film even opened that a Guardians of the Galaxy 2 would be out in 2017. Now it’s easily one of our most anticipated future titles.
Marvel Studios is, of course, very good at keeping details about their in-development projects secret, but every so often a cool little bit of info sneaks out and tells us just a little bit more about the film. That’s where we come in. Below you’ll find a compilation of every detail we know about Guardians of the Galaxy 2 so far, from who we know is coming back to what new characters we can expect to show up. Read on, and learn!
Prior to the first Guardians of the Galaxy, writer/director James Gunn never worked on a feature with a budget higher than $15 million, but any and all doubts about him as a blockbuster filmmaker were put to rest with movie’s release. Throughout production, Gunn and Marvel got along famously, which is perhaps a big part of why he is coming back to both write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 2. The news was made official at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 when the director paired up with star Chris Pratt on a video presentation to announce the project’s official release date: May 5, 2017. As the film moves through pre-production, he will surely keep hammering away at the script, getting it prepared for the start of filming in 2016.
Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord
Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt) was a womanizing, asshole thief when we first met him as an adult in Guardians of the Galaxy, but he undergoes an incredible arc in the movie that sees him really transform into a mature leader. As noted in Gamora’s final lines in the film, he is who the rest of the Guardians are now looking to for guidance as they go on further adventures. We can surely expect him to still have deep emotional ties to his dead mother – which will come out through Awesome Mix Vol. 2 – not to mention the fact that he will be on the hunt for the identity of his real father, who it turns out wasn’t actually from Earth.
Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana) has certainly had it rough for her entire life, her parents being killed right in front of her by a psychotic alien who would wind up raising her as a daughter. But those dark days seem to be behind her. She has found a new family in Peter Quill, Rocket, Drax and Groot, and she is pursuing her happiness. Of course, just because she may be trying to leave the past in the past doesn’t mean that her enemies will do the same. Thanos will be incredibly displeased that his “favorite” daughter has betrayed him to become a hero, and let’s also not forget that the dangerous and extremely pissed off Nebula is still around and fighting. We won’t be surprised in the slightest if both come back to play key roles in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as a result.
He can only say three words (okay, five words), but still Groot, the alien tree voiced by Vin Diesel, was able to create some of the most emotional moments in Guardians of the Galaxy – one of them being his incredible self-sacrifice to save his friends in the third act. Aboard the Dark Aster with the rest of the Guardians as it was crashing down to the surface of Xandar, Groot grew and morphed to become a protective shell for his teammates in order to save them… and he was shattered into a million pieces as a result. The good news is that it’s incredibly hard to kill a Groot thanks to their regenerative powers. At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot is nothing more than a sapling who enjoys grooving to the sound of the Jackson 5, but by the time we see him in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 he may be full grown once again. At that time, he will once again be back in fighting shape to perform the tasks that his teammates physically can’t.
Drax The Destroyer
In bringing Drax the Destroyer to life in Guardians of the Galaxy, Dave Bautista not only provided the movie with some of its best laughs, but also many of its most dramatic moments. The hatred and rage that Drax felt towards Ronan was extremely powerful and palpable, and while it ultimately wasn’t he who 100% directly killed his sworn foe (it was a team effort), he certainly got his revenge. The problem is that killing Ronan didn’t give him the satisfaction he needed to get over the death of his wife and daughter (this is why revenge is no good, people!). Now the character has turned all of his attention towards Thanos, who he knows has been pulling the strings all along anyway. Will he succeed? It’s hard to say at this point, but the characters most certainly do have a history in the comics. Whether or not that will be Drax’s main drive in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is up in the air right now, but James Gunn has at the very least promised that we will learn a bit about the alien warrior.
We pretty much learn everything we need to know about Rocket’s attitude and general outlook on life within the first few moments of meeting him in Guardians of the Galaxy. Making fun of various aliens who are doing nothing more than going on with their day, the diminutive furry gun-lover is the exact opposite of a people person, and is as surly as they come. By the end of the film he does even out a bit by understanding the importance of having other people in his life, but he is still far from a happy camper. He will be along for the ride in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, with Bradley Cooper returning to provide the voice. And while we don’t know anything plot specific about his arc yet, that information will certainly come in time.
There’s a seemingly endless number of shockingly entertaining characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, but perhaps the most surprising of them all is the performance given by Michael Rooker as Yondu. Part Boba Fett and part Jabba The Hutt, this blue, mohawked Ravager stole every scene he was in with his Kentucky fried accent, and whistle-controlled arrow. Rooker’s many years of working with director James Gunn practically insures that Yondu will be back for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but it’s also important to remember that it’s Yondu and the rest of his crew who actually know the identity of Star-Lord’s father. As that plot plays out, expect Yondu to be a big part of it.
Ronan The Accuser
Let’s keep this one short and sweet: Ronan The Accuser, brought to life by Lee Pace, is dead as Dillinger. While he was certainly formidable (he honestly made Drax look like a toddler at times), and was basically invulnerable with the power of the Infinity Stone, the Guardians of the Galaxy used teamwork to turn him into purple dust at the end of the movie. It’s true that some kind of weird comic book loophole could possibly bring him back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe somehow, but the reality is that you shouldn’t expect him back for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – and James Gunn has gone on record confirming that it definitely isn’t going to happen.
Development of Guardians of the Galaxy 2
“Well, you know, there are general ideas for what the sequel is and where it goes and who’s involved and what happens and what we find out about our characters. So it’s very general and that could change. Sometimes you have ideas and you write them down and they’re too convoluted on paper and it’s too many ideas for one thing or it’s not enough ideas or whatever and so that could easily change, but I know a lot about who these characters are and where they came from and where they’re going. I’m excited by the possibility of creating a sequel because we had to do a lot of setup in this movie and with a sequel we don’t have to do that setup which will make it so much easier for me.”
James Gunn, director and writer of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, on the state of the sequel in August 2014.
In May 2014, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger noted the potential of making Guardians of the Galaxy into a franchise, saying, “We’re looking forward to introducing the world to more fantastic Marvel storytelling, with a great cast of new characters in Guardians of the Galaxy… We believe it has strong franchise potential.” He added, “I’m not going to predict that we’ve got another Avengers on our hands, but that’s certainly the goal.” James Gunn, director and co-screenwriter of Guardians of the Galaxy, revealed that, should a sequel film be made, he would like to return, in addition to being contractually obligated to if asked. The next month, producer Kevin Feige added, “should [Guardians of the Galaxy] work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take [the franchise] and we have ideas of where we’d like to go with it,” due to the wide array of characters, worlds and story lines from Guardians comics.
In July 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman confirmed a sequel, saying it was “going to happen” due to the positive response, and confirmed that Gunn would write and direct. At San Diego Comic-Con International 2014, the sequel was given a release date of July 28, 2017. The following month, Gunn stated that “there should be at least one more Guardian from the comics” appearing in the film, and revealed that he had already started working on the sequel. In October, Gunn confirmed that all five original Guardians would return, along with other characters from the original film, with the possibility of more team members joining, and the release date was moved up to May 5, 2017.
In November 2014, Michael Rooker revealed he would return for the sequel as Yondu, stating he was looking forward to exploring new areas of the character, and was excited to “expand on the role”. In the following months, Chris Pratt, who played Peter Quill / Star-Lord in the first film, revealed the sequel would be one of his next projects, and Bradley Cooper expressed interest and excitement when asked if he would return as Rocket for the sequel.
In March 2015, Gunn revealed that filming would take place in Atlanta, Georgia with “major crew changes” from the first film, and that his brother, Sean Gunn, would return as Kraglin alongside Karen Gillan as Nebula. He also explained his working relationship with Marvel saying, “We have a really great relationship where they let me go and do my thing, and I truly listen to their notes and ideas. I’ve never been told to put in any character or plot element at all… When [Marvel] trust[s] you – and I think I’ve earned their trust over the past few years – they give you a wide berth… we just fit.” Vin Diesel confirmed he would return as Groot, and a month later Gunn confirmed the film would be released in 3D.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on April 28, 2017, and in North America on May 5, 2017, in 3D and IMAX. It was originally intended to be released on July 28, 2017.