James Gunn is going to be busy in the near future. He just shared the news that his latest script for The Belco Experiment was picked up by MGM and will begin shooting in June. He’s also producing the project which is currently in pre-production. And of course, while that’s all happening, he’s still developing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for Marvel Studios.

In fact, after writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy to critical and financial success, Gunn has more creative freedom than any other Marvel director to date and is using that to get far more original with his ideas and deviating from Marvel Comics stories for the sequel – according to his own words. He recently pitched his GOTG 2 story though, and they loved it (even though they called it a “risk”).

So, where are we now? After the pitch, Gunn submitted his treatment, has a followup meeting about it this week and will begin writing the actual screenplay in a matter of days

“I turned in my treatment. I’m going in to meet about it Friday and we will start working on the screenplay next week,” Gunn explained yesterday using the Periscope social media broadcasting app, later adding during the video that the script is “very, very far along.” How long? 70 pages long.

Guardians of the Galaxy art by Patrick Brown 1024x551 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Story Treatment Is Complete


As for the “they” of it all, the Marvel Studios top brass Gunn is bouncing story ideas off of executives, producers (and executive producers) Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Jonathan Schwartz, and Victoria Alonso. He described the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 session as the “best experience he ever had with a pitch.”

Other tidbits revealed during his live Q&A yesterday:

  • Hardest part of Guardians of the Galaxy was setting up and designing the characters – making the sequel that much more easier having the core characters already realized.
  • “Ronan is a bad guy, we killed him. Not everything is going to happen in the movies the same as the comics.”
  • Fans will get to know the Guardians in a “deeper way” in the sequel.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be in 3D (obviously).
  • “We don’t do motion capture for Rocket and Groot,” in response to a question about Vin Diesel doing mocap for the sequel. They just reference images at times.
  • Might have figured out a way for Karen Gillan to play Nebula in the sequel without having to shave her head.
  • GOTG 1 & 2 writing process: Plots out whole story and then writes it after.
  • There’s little improv on set but there’s some during rehearsals which Gunn then adds to the script.

Non-Guardians Marvel tidbits:

  • Would like to use drones to shoot in an upcoming movie.
  • “lept for joy” at Spider-Man joining MCU.
  • Favorite current comics: Silver Surfer, Wolverines, Secret Avengers
  • Really dug the trailer for Fantastic Four and has already seen Avengers 2 and “liked it.”

Non-Marvel:

  • Would never direct an X-Men film
  • Fave supervillain: Heath Ledger’s Joker

For more on Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Gunn recently revealed that his favorite character will be in it and that he wants to work with Al Pacino (who has already met with Marvel). The sequel will reveal Star-Lord’s father and show that the heroes are “worse than you think.” Sorry comic readers, no Captain Marvel or Nova in this one but Gunn does already have Guardians of the Galaxy 3 story ideas

More: 12 Characters We Want To See In Guardians of the Galaxy Sequels

The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Spider-Man on July 28, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Black Panther on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2 2018, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019 and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.

Source: James Gunn (hat tip Paul)

Art by Patrick Brown.