Some film directors and television show-runners prefer to remain tight-lipped and locked-down during the production of their newest movie or TV season, hoping to keep plot details and leaked spoilers to a minimum until the “final product” is ready for release. Some awesome Hollywood creative types, however, firmly embrace the fan-interaction element of storytelling in the digital age, and these wonderful folks share fun little snippets of the creative process that, even though they end up being relatively non-consequential pieces of the bigger picture, still drums up excitement and a connected level of anticipation from the audience. James Gunn, director of the 2014 Marvel breakout hit ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ falls firmly into the latter category; he had another “live Q&A session” on Facebook over the weekend where he dropped a few interesting casting tidbits about the upcoming sequel ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.’
The ‘Guardians’ hype train is starting to gain speed now that the sequel has started principal photography. The first film left several questions (intentionally) unanswered and with recent news about certain members of the Guardians definitely appearing in other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, inquiring fans minds are eager for more information – knowledge that Gunn seems happy to playfully dance around and tease.
There have been new cast additions for the sequel, of course, including Kurt Russell, who is rumored to be portraying Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father. Regarding the expansive cast of characters that audiences met in the first film, in the Q&A Gunn was direct in revealing a few faces that won’t make it into ‘Vol. 2,’ saying directly that “John C. Reilly is not back for Volume 2, unfortunately.” Reilly played the part of Denarian Day, a member of the Nova Corps on the planet Xandar. It makes sense that we wouldn’t see Day, or likely anyone on Xandar, in the sequel; after the destructive thrashing the planet took at the hands of Ronan the Destroyer in the first film, the entire civilization is likely in full-rebuild mode, which probably doesn’t make for thrilling on-screen action.
Also absent from ‘Vol. 2,’ according to Gunn, will be The Collector (Benicio del Toro), whom we last saw after his collection/living-museum of alien oddities was destroyed in an Infinity Stone blast. Gunn explained that The Collector “just didn’t fit into Volume 2,” but did go on to say “I’m very excited to see him in the MCU in the future, I hope.” Perhaps The Collector and a few of his “prize pieces” that we saw him with in the end-credits scene of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ – namely, Russian canine astronaut Cosmo and wise-cracking Howard the Duck – may make an appearance for audiences elsewhere. Certainly, if the heavily-fan-noticed tidbit of Adam Warlock’s cocoon being in the collection is true, this could also be a convenient way to get The Collector back on screen, if the character of Warlock will indeed be joining the MCU sometime.
Speaking of other Marvel characters and whether or not they might be part of an upcoming MCU tale, Gunn took a few minutes to lament the fact that Marvel’s separate film deals with Sony and Fox are actually hindering him from using certain characters. He said: “Fox owns so many awesome cosmic villains and minor characters that I’d love to play around with, like Annihilus … and I think they own Kang … so there’s some great characters over there that we don’t own and that sucks.” Gunn has done amazing work with what he has available to him so far, so here’s hoping he can continue to weave his magic web, working with the characters he can, for the next installment of the ‘Guardians’ film series.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’ is currently slated to be released in US theaters on May 5, 2017.
When looking for his first job as a fresh-faced 16-year-old, Tony stumbled through the mall and ended up in front of the local comic book shop – and he never looked back. A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.