Speculation about James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is at an all-time high as negotiations continue to sign Kurt Russell to the film and news breaks that Benicio Del Toro’s incarnation of The Collector won’t return. All of this talk seemed to overshadow one important piece of preproduction that hadn’t yet been completed: The script.

That’s changed now, though, as Gunn himself broke the news that the final draft of the script has been finished. This puts scripts in hand a few weeks before production is slated to begin, driving home the point that filming on GotG2 will start soon.

Posting an image of the script’s cover page to Instagram, Gunn captioned the image, “So this is what happens when you take your brain between your hands and wring out its every last juice. Being sent out now.” The post, which was put up on January 13, had received nearly 10,000 likes as of the time of this writing (a mere three hours later) and 506 comments from happy fans. The cover page revealed that this was the fifth draft of the script.

It was revealed last year that production on GotG2 was slated to begin in February, so a completed script and ongoing talks with a few final cast members is a good sign that things are progressing more or less according to plan. The film is slated for release on May 5, 2017, so a February start would give 15 months for filming and post-production on the effects-heavy film. Most of the secrets of the film are still being kept under wraps, though it was sadly revealed recently that the filmmakers had been discussing a David Bowie cameo before he passed away. Bowie may be the only artist with music appearing on the soundtracks of both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Interest is high for GotG2 after the breakout success of the first film. Prior to its release, fan anticipation was mixed between speculation that it would be Marvel’s first major bomb to Guardians of the Galaxy being the new Star Wars. The film ended up being well received, winding up one of the highest-grossing movies of 2014 and garnering praise from both fans and critics. It also managed to work in a cameo from Howard the Duck, which is worth mentioning even if it didn’t add to the plot of the film.

The amazing success of the original GotG puts additional stress on Gunn and the cast since it will have a lot to live up to. Some fans might worry that the sequel will fall short and be viewed as a lesser film as a result, similar to what happened with Avengers: Age of Ultron after many fans felt it didn’t live up to the excitement they felt from the original Avengers movie. Unfortunately, we still have over 15 months to wait to find out whether Gunn’s new script can deliver what the fans are hoping for.

Next: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to Be Filmed with 8k Camera System

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 28, 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