Although Guardians of the Galaxy may have seemed like Marvel’s riskiest film, the studio had enough confidence to greenlight a sequel before the movie had even premiered. Now, since Guardians of the Galaxy became Marvel’s third highest-grossing film, fans are looking to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for more of their favorite characters. Director James Gunn has spoken previously about some characters who will appear and what fans should expect from the Guardians themselves in the sequel.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will see the return of Yondu, played by Michael Rooker, and the Ravagers. The father of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) will also play an important part in the story of the sequel. As for other characters from Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn offered some more information of who will return for the sequel.
During a Guardians of the Galaxy live commentary/Q&A on his Facebook, Gunn was asked if Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace in the first film, would return to the franchise. He responded, “Who knows. But not in 2, no.” This may not come as a surprise since Ronan was seemingly killed at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, but Marvel has proved in the past that there are means to bring people back from death.
Nebula, played by Karen Gillan, on the other hand “will be back,” though Gunn didn’t specify if he meant the character would return in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or a later movie. Fan-favorite character Groot will definitely return for the sequel, but Gunn said viewers shouldn’t assume he’ll be the same: “Well, who says baby Groot is Groot and not Groot's son?”
Lylla, a talking Otter and Rocket Raccoon’s love interest in the comic books, was listed as one of Rocket’s associates during the prison intake scene in Guardians of the Galaxy. During the Q&A on Facebook, Gunn addressed whether or not she would appear in a future Guardians film:
“You'll have to wait and see on Lylla. But I will say I think a raccoon being sexually attracted to an otter is similar to a human being sexually attracted to a possum. I think it's very important that Rocket is the only thing like him, which is the source of his sadness and loneliness… An otter girlfriend could get really cartoony really."
Although Ronan may be out of the picture for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, that leaves room for Gunn to include more of The Mad Titan Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. When Marvel revealed their full Phase 3 lineup - concluding with The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2 - it became evident that Thanos would become more of a central antagonist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Whether that means he’ll be the main villain of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 remains to be seen. He may be the primary antagonist to the Guardians in the sequel, or he may have another small part that will lead to a larger role down the line in The Avengers: Infinity War.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will premiere May 5th, 2017.