Marvel Studios and writer-director James Gunn are already hard at work preparing in Atlanta, with “giant” sets under construction, for the upcoming start of principal photography on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. All of the cast of the first are coming back, Guardians and supporting characters included, and shooting begins in February.
As we just learned today, the scripts have finally gone out to the actors which created a bit of a stir among media publications today over rumors that Bradley Cooper (the voice of Rocket Raccoon) may have spoiled a major plot point of the sequel. Spoiler: he didn’t.
Caught awkwardly attempting to answer a question regarding who the mysterious villain of GOTG 2 is, Cooper was quick to respond assuming that it’s Thanos (Josh Brolin) given his behind-the-curtain role during the events of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy 1. He followed it up however, saying “he played what’s his name’s dad,” which had some fans and journalists questioning now if big bad Thanos is actually somehow – despite his look – the father of Star-Lord. Don’t worry. That’s ridiculous and he’s not.
If you listen closely, he’s not even referring to Star-Lord but instead is referencing the sequence where Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) comes face-to-face with Thanos (Karen Gillan’s Nebula is there too) as Thanos threatens Ronan after his failure to retrieve the Orb (Power Infinity Stone). To put this in perspective, we spoke with Cooper’s actually-on-screen Guardians of the Galaxy co-star Dave Bautista last week who didn’t even know that Mantis was going to be in the sequel (played by Pom Klementieff). There are no spoilers here!
In response to all the stories coming out, Bradley Cooper didn’t reveal anything. He just got the script and hasn’t read it yet. I promise.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 9, 2015
That has not been revealed and Bradley doesn’t know the main villain (or didn’t at the time of the interview). https://t.co/GwVa7jeIZM— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 9, 2015
I would say the epitome of jumping the shark was when Fonzie jumped the shark. https://t.co/ejI35nSGTf— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 10, 2015
We already know Thanos isn’t the main villain. The new primary antagonist is someone new, a role that Matthew McConaughey turned down. Connecting the dots based on what little details have been revealed about Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – and knowing that the overall cast is actually smaller this time around – we can theorize that said villain role could be that of Star-Lord’s dad.
What We Do Know About Guardians of the Galaxy 2’s “Fathers”
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is a “story about fathers” and an emotional one at that. It even made star Chris Pratt cry when Gunn pitched it to him. It’s a story that deviates greatly from the comics to the point of Marvel’s top brass calling it “risky” even if Gunn’s stories and worlds take inspiration from Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s run of Marvel cosmic comics from 2008-2011 (whom he got to re-team to write tie-in comics for the first movie).
The sequel will reveal Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord’s dad who was referred to as a “jackass” in the first movie by Yondu (Michael Rooker). And since Yondu’s a space pirate of sorts (leader of the Ravagers) that’s significant. He must be a next-level jerk. The reveal of this character isn’t supposed to be a big twist or big mystery but serves a larger story. We can only assume that since family ties represent the key theme of the followup that there will be other father-child stories too.
That could mean we’ll see more of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan)’s broken relationship with their adoptive supervillain father Thanos – the big bad of the franchise so far and weirdly referenced by Cooper in the video up top – and we could even see another daughter of that family. There being another adopted daughter was something hinted at in the first movie. Perhaps Gunn will make new addition Mantis another daughter of Thanos, to keep things simple. Or if they’re keen on introducing even more characters (which they don’t seem to be) they could really pull from the source material and introduce Drax the Destroyer’s long-through-dead-but-not-really daughter known as Moondragon. That would be a great twist and offer much more background behind Drax, and help connect his rage even further to Thanos.
Knowing how Gunn went with his own take on the first movie and is doing so again with Star-Lord’s dad in the sequel, perhaps its more likely that if Drax has a living daughter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (where he’s not even from Earth like in the books) that they just merge Moondragon and Mantis into one character. They both have telepathic abilities and given Drax’s non-human origin story, they can’t introduce Moondragon like the books anyway. Mantis however, looks much more alien in the source material.
How many father-child relationships do you expect to see explored in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and will Thanos be a big part of that? Is there any truth to Bradley Cooper’s slip-up?
James Gunn is writing and directing the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel which stars Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Benicio del Toro, Pom Klementieff, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
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.
Sources: James Gunn, MTV