Back when Guardians of the Galaxy was released in theatres in 2014, comic book fans everywhere were excited to see another strong female character represented in the genre with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora. However, they were later confused when the film’s toy lines all but excluded the character from their lineups, prompting the online #WheresGamora to be created, in the hopes of calling attention to the constant exclusion of female film characters from their merchandising. Since then, writer and director James Gunn has made it clear that the same issue will be avoided with next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, assuring fans that there will be an equal representation of the film’s characters in the merchandising.

Gamora isn’t the only female character set to play a prominent role in Vol. 2 though, with two notable new additions being Pom Klementieff’s Mantis and Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha, with the latter currently presumed to be one of the film’s villainous forces. The film will also feature the return of Karen Gillan’s Nebula as well, who is reunited with her sister, Gamora, through a strange set of circumstances in the sequel.

During a recent, out of the blue Twitter Q&A, Gunn was asked by a fan if he had any say in the sequel’s toy lines, and if the film’s creative team were going to make sure that there were more toys of Nebula made available for Vol. 2 than its predecessor. Echoing some of his previous statements, specifically about Mantis and Ayesha in the past, the director replied briefly, saying fans shouldn’t be worried about a lack of Nebula toys this time around:

Nebula is expected to have an even larger part in Vol. 2 next year, not only playing an integral role in the film’s main plot, but eventually becoming one of the main members of the Guardians themselves, with both Mantis and Yondu (Michael Rooker) being the other additions to the main roster. Set only a few months after the events of the first film, it’ll make for an interesting change in direction for the character, after her exit in the original Guardians seemed to only hint at even more conflict between her and Gamora to be expected in the future.

Fortunately, this is just the latest bit of progress when it comes to equal representation in films and their marketing, after a string of recent controversies regarding toy companies on the topic, including not only Gamora and Nebula in 2014, but also following the shockingly small amount of Rey figures made for The Force Awakens last year, despite her being the film’s main character. So, after years of fans being confused by the lesser amounts of figures made for female characters in blockbusters, especially compared to their male counterparts, this should come as a welcome bit of news.

Source: James Gunn