Marvel is preparing for a trip back to the Andromeda Galaxy for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The a-holes are back in action, and recent details about the film’s plot and new characters — like Ego and Mantis — are detailed in set visits dating back to April of last year. Here are all the quick and dirty details confirmed by Director James Gunn and Marvel Studios figurehead Kevin Feige.
The basic plot
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is set approximately six months after the first film, which is a change for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the films tend to run in real time. The team is hired by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), the leader of the planet Sovereign, to stop a monster from destroying the precious batteries that run the planet. (The monster is the gross Lovecraftian creature seen in the trailer.) In exchange, Ayesha will give them Nebula, whom they still have a grudge against for her actions in the first film.
Rocket, being Rocket, steals one of the batteries, leading Ayesha to hire the Ravagers to chase after the team across the galaxy. And somewhere along the way, Peter Quill meets his dad.
There is no J’son in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father was left a mystery in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, leaving it up to be resolved in the sequel. When Kurt Russell was cast in the film, fans assumed he’d be J’son, but director James Gunn said several times that J’son doesn’t exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “I’ll just come out and say it, theres no J’son in the MCU,” said Gunn.
Why Thanos isn’t in Vol. 2
Gunn explained that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is about “being a family” compared to the first one, which was about “becoming a family.” To that end, rival sisters Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) take up much of the personal conflict. “And yeah, some of those things were caused by being raised by the ultimate abusive father. But it really isn’t about Thanos, and frankly, I just wasn’t inspired to put him in the movie. I kind of go with my gut on these things and it just wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
For film buffs, the IMAX scenes mean the film will switch ratios throughout its runtime
Said Gunn: “This time it’s a little more planned out ahead of time, but we switch between 2:35 and 1:89 aspect ratios.”
Baby Groot is an idiot
“He can kick some ass,” said Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. “Hes also an idiot. He’s a baby. He’s not very smart.”
Yondu’s weird ass fin
The filmmakers didn’t explain why Yondu has a fin, but confirmed that the film will, and it’s related to the increased presence of the Ravagers.
“She’s a member of this race called the Suvern,” explained Gunn, “and they’re all genetically created by themselves as a self-sustaining race who are perfect. They’re created as perfect beings, and they think of themselves as perfect.” In the comics, Ayesha is related to Adam Warlock, which Gunn said is “totally possible” in the MCU.
The Easter eggs are “insane”
Gunn said that the Easter egg obsession has become “insane.” “And in fact I have the dumbest Easter egg. We have so many incredibly obscure Easter eggs in this movie that it’s ridiculous. Yeah, we’ve been working hard on the Easter eggs. I feel this need to do it now since people have been pouring over stuff so much.” Gunn also said that the last Easter egg from the first film has yet to be found.
The relationship between Groot and Rocket has flipped
In the first film, Groot was introduced as the bodyguard to Rocket. But now that Groot is an itty bitty baby tree, Rocket has assumed guardianship over his friend. “[T]hat’s part of the story and the story being about families,” said Gunn. “I relate to Rocket more than any of the other characters, and this is really about Rocket coming to terms with accepting his place within a group of people, which probably seemed like a good idea for two seconds when they were getting along and saving a planet. And now he’s just not very comfortable with the idea of being a part of this group, which come to think of it, is probably what I’m like with everything in making this movie.”
Peter also has some daddy issues, cementing the theme of family in the sequel
“Where Peter comes from, and who he is, and his lineage, and his straight-up relationship to his father, and his surrogate father, which is Yondu — all of that stuff is incredibly important,” said Gunn.
Mantis is strange, creepy, and “funny as shit”
“Well, I think Mantis is as odd and strange as Pom is,” Gunn said, referring to Mantis’s actress Pom Klementieff. “And I think she is an incredibly unique character. And I think she’s funny as shit. And she’s also a little creepy.”
Gunn added that he loved auditioning Asian actresses because of the opportunity for diversity. “Truly, we screen tested four actresses who, all four of them, were totally incredible. It’s just Pom happened to fit the role the best, but it was a really amazing experience. And honestly, truly, an example of … a lot of actors out there who don’t get the opportunities of these lead roles that a regular white dude does.”
And everyone in Guardians of the Galaxy are just nut-cases
“Mantis is just as weird and screwy as Rocket and Drax and Groot,” said Gunn, “who are all just nut-cases. Being able to have that dynamic, to me, is what’s cool about having the female characters more than having the strong females, I guess.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be released May 5.