Though Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 has actually been filming for over a week or so (the cast and crew have been posting shots from the set, including that crew chair you see above), Marvel and Disney officially announced the start of production this morning. Yes, we already knew that, but they’ve also confirmed the film’s cast including Kurt Russell (!!), Elizabeth Debicki (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) and Chris Sullivan (The Knick).
Russell, Debicki and Sullivan join returning cast members Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Glenn Close and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. Not returning for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 are Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, who won’t be reprising their roles as Thanos or The Collector in this film. Benicio Del Toro is headed to a galaxy far, far away, while Thanos appears to be taking some time off to reassess his life and get his Infinity Stones in order. (For those wondering, John C. Reilly also does not appear to be returning.)
Here’s the official update from director James Gunn:
Official photography on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has started, and I couldn’t be more stoked.
My favorite movie as a small child was The Strongest Man in the World, so I’m glad to announce that, yes, Kurt Russell has joined our cast and, yes, he is more awesome a dude than I ever could have imagined.
The last few days around here with him and our other new cast members, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, and Chris Sullivan, have been some of the best of my life. I never thought anyone was missing from our island of misfit toys, but now that these folks are here there feels like there was.
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Glenn Close are all returning.
We’ll have more surprises for you in the coming months. But, for now, this will have to do.
I have to get back to set!
Have a great day, everybody.
And here’s the official plot synopsis: “Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.”
Not much else is known about the film at this point, though reportedly some of the villainous characters from the first film, namely Yondu and Nebula, will be joining the ranks of the good guys along with Mantis, to be played by previously announced cast member Pom Klementieff (Oldboy). Another rumored addition to the film was Ego, the Living Planet who, uh, is a living planet. (OK, some more details: Ego is a living planet that began life in the Black Galaxy, where it evolved and developed organic attributes — like a brain. Ego has consciousness and intelligence, and as such, begins to consider his importance and starts thinking that hey, he’s a pretty powerful planet, maybe he could take over a galaxy or two, which runs him afoul of the people who are the guardians of the galaxy.)
So, we generally know who Russell and Klementieff are playing, and we can assume that neither Debicki nor Sullivan are playing a living planet, so who are they playing? Debicki would’ve made a great Captain Marvel, but Gunn has previously said that Carol Danvers will not be in his film. But, Gunn could also step toward the Captain Marvel universe by having Debicki play Phyla-Vell, aka Quasar. She was the original Captain Marvel, but not THE Captain Marvel, and Guardians 2 could set up this character who would later transfer her powers unto Danvers on Earth. This would also be a progressive choice given that Phyla-Vell is a lesbian. Having a gay superhero in a Marvel movie would be a huge step forward for diversity in big-budget blockbusters.
As for Sullivan, given his size (he’s 6'5" and 270 lbs. according to his Wikipedia page), we’ll guess he’s playing a heavy in this film, possibly under heavy makeup, a la Drax. Since we still don’t really know who the film’s villain is, he certainly would appear to be playing a villainous part.
As was teased at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, you can expect at least a good portion of this film to Peter Quill finding, and dealing with, his father.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 opens in theaters on May 5.