Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy was something of an unexpected critical/commercial smash hit for the studio – though seeing as Marvel announced the sequel, which is now officially titled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, before the first installment had opened in theaters, it seems fair to say that the comic book company had an inkling that co-writer/director James Gunn’s cosmic action/comedy would play well with the masses.

Jump ahead to the present and Gunn has now begun filming the Guardians of the Galaxy followup, with returning cast members Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), and Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer) – plus Vin Diesel (Groot) and Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon) lined up to reprise their vocal performances for the motion-capture members of the main Guardians lineup. Now, however, additional members of the cast – both returning and new – have been officially confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

First off, here is the not-all-that-revealing official logline for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel (one that, admittedly, is in keeping with Gunn’s description of the film as “A story about fathers”):

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.

guardians galaxy 2 casting mantis Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Official Cast & Teaser Image Revealed

Mantis from Guardians of the Galaxy comics (2008-2010 run)

The new cast members in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will include Pom Klementieff (Oldboy (2013)), whom Gunn has now formally confirmed (via his Facebook page) will be playing the newest addition to the Guardians squad, the extraterrestrial Mantis; Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby (2013), The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) in a role that’s currently under-wraps; and the legendary Kurt Russell (whose recent films include Furious 7 and The Hateful Eight), who is reportedly going to be playing Peter’s mysterious non-human father in the film – a character whose true identity will not be the same as Peter’s father in the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel comics; that is, Russell will not be playing J-son King of Spartax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Sullivan (of The Knick) is also now confirmed as part of the cast, though his role is open to speculation for the time being, too.

MORE: Why Mantis Makes Sense for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Here is the official teaser image released for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, showing the outlines of the main Guardians team – including “Baby Groot,” who has not yet fully regrown following the finale to the first Guardians movie:

guardians galaxy 2 cast images Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Official Cast & Teaser Image Revealed

Below, you can read through Gunn’s official Facebook post confirming the casting for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in which he additionally mentions that his brother Sean Gunn and Oscar-nominee Glenn Close will also return for the sequel – as Kraglin/Rocket’s stand-in and Nova Prime, respectively. Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan will be reprising their own roles as the aliens Yondu and Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy followup, with the latter having teased that the relationship between Gamora and Nebula (both being “daughters” of Thanos (Josh Brolin)) is going to be “a bit more fleshed out” in the upcoming film, too.

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.

NEXT: Unanswered Questions in the MCU

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 – 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: Marvel Studios, James Gunn

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