Heading into Phase 3 of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is set to answer several questions left hanging in the balance after James Gunn’s smash-hit first installment in 2014. The mystery of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father as well as the whereabouts of the injured Nebula (Karen Gillan) are just the tip of the iceberg, and in a live Q&A on Facebook yesterday, Gunn clarified who wasn’t coming back for the sequel.

John C. Reilly is not back for Volume 2, unfortunately,” said the director. He went on to announce that actor Benicio Del Toro, who played the Collector in the film (and appeared in a post-credits scene after Thor: The Dark World) will also not be appearing, but not without leaving an inkling of potential for the character’s reappearance, which he’s been known to do in the past: “I’m very excited to see him in the MCU in the future, I hope.”

Gunn went on to explain why the Collector won’t be making a return, saying that the character “just didn’t fit into Volume 2.” The last time we saw the Collector, he was licking his wounds (or, more specifically, getting his face licked by Cosmo) while enduring ridicule from one of his former collection pieces, Howard the Duck. After an explosion that destroyed most of his prized possessions, all that is really known about the Collector’s fate is that he survived the explosion caused by his servant, Carina, who attempted to use an Infinity Stone in order to escape from him. The director also spoke about certain characters that are part of Marvel’s Cosmic Universe of comics that he simply doesn’t have the access to because of the way Marvel’s properties are still divided between studios:

“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.”

Benicio Del Toro as the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Wont Star Benicio Del Toro Or John C. Reilly

As for the Collector’s whereabouts, those remain to be seen — but the potential is endless at the moment. With Thor: Ragnarok on the horizon and the Infinity War films promising a massive cast of familiar faces, the stage is set for the Collector to weasel his way back into the story in order to rebuild his collection. What methods he uses and when (or if) the character’s story will continue is still unconfirmed.

While most of the other questions during the Q&A focused on Gunn’s personal taste in music and television, fans couldn’t help but push to see if he’d given any consideration to what happens after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 releases in theaters. As ever, the answer was unclear, and Gunn seemed much more focused on the task at hand. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do after Guardians,” he said. “Seems to be the question I’m asking the most.”

Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.

Source: James Gunn

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