We are now a mere three months away from Marvel Studios' highly anticipated sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hitting theaters, and although we've had one amazing trailer where Baby Groot stole the show, it's been a bit quiet when it comes to news about the film. Thanks to the folks at USA Today, we have a whole new crop of photos from the maverick crew of the Milano, the best spaceship ever to be named for a teen actress from an '80s sitcom, as well as some new tidbits from the film's cast and crew.
For starters, we learn that the movie starts just a two months after the end of the first film, with the crew viewed by the galaxy as "a rowdy bunch [of] cosmic rock stars" after saving Xandar. This is a bit of a departure from most Marvel Studios movies, which tend to take place in "real time," more or less. For example, last year's Captain America: Civil War mentions that it has been eight years since Tony Stark first became Iron Man, which fits in with timeline of the real-world releases of the movies. But with the Guardians off in deep space, they are in their own little separate corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe anyway.
Family seems to be the theme of this sequel, as Chris Pratt's character Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, becomes the de facto father figure to this band of intergalactic misfits. And like a true family, this time they are raising a child, Groot, who has been reborn as a baby (but is still voiced by Vin Diesel). Star-Lord and Drax (Dave Bautista) are being driven crazy by the parental responsibilities, and it's up to Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper again) and ex-assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to be Groot's primary "parents." Saldana says that “she’s surrounded by all these dudes who are so stupid half the time, she has to be the voice of reason.”
Another way that family plays into the sequel is that Peter Quill finally meets his long-lost father, Ego the Living Planet, played by the legendary Kurt Russell. “Ego is the most powerful character I’m ever going to play,” Russell says. “I mean, he created himself! He’s the real deal.” Although Russell will appear human-sized in the film, it's still unknown if writer/director James Gunn has somehow managed to squeeze in the classic comic book look of Ego into the film, which is a giant planet with an actual face and beard attached. But if any Marvel franchise is silly enough to get away with it, then it's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Other returning cast members include the pirate Yondu (Michael Rooker) who raised Quill, and Nebula (Karen Gillan) Gamora's adopted sister, who probably isn't too happy to see her sibling after the ass-kicking she suffered in the first film. One new cast member joining the line-up is Ego's confidante Mantis (Pom Klementieff), who comics fans might remember as a longtime Avenger. Considering the character is confirmed to return for Avengers: Infinity War, she could become a member of team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well.
You can check out a sample of the new behind-the-scenes- photos from Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 in our gallery below. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5, 2017.
Images: Marvel Studios via USA Today
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