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What James Gunn Told Us on Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Set

Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol 2 Fan Art

Going back to the music, when you said you put the songs that you want in the script, has there ever been a scene were you had a song and when you were doing the scene you were kind of like "Oh this isn't working. I'm gonna need to switch this out." Or has everything just kind of-

James Gunn: For this movie, or for the last movie?

For this movie. Or for either.

James Gunn: No. No, for this movie it's worked really well so far. For the last movie I think it worked pretty well too. I don't think I had anything I changed out. On the last movie the one song that wasn't on the script that I remember was "Moonage Daydream," which we tried a lot of other songs for that scene, which didn't work. Or didn't work quite as well as "Moonage Daydream."

So outside of looking totally badass, Yondu's fin - is there an impetus for that?

James Gunn: Yeah, there's a reason. There's a reason for it. Yes, there's a reason for the change of fins.

Does that have to do with the Ravagers' larger role in this movie?

James Gunn: Yeah, it does. It does, yeah. [Laughs] That's exciting answers. Put that down. Write that down.

We saw a little bit of the art but we don't really know a ton about Ayesha - can you explain a little bit about her character and what she presents to the Guardians. In terms of being a formidable villain for the Guardians.

James Gunn: She's a member of this race called the Sovereign and they're all genetically created by themselves as a self-sustaining race who are perfect. They're created as perfect beings, and they think of themselves as perfect.

In the comics she's related to Adam Warlock. Is that the case, she's gold here just like he is, is it the race Adam Warlock come from perhaps in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

James Gunn: Totally possible. [Laughs] They're created in pods.

The first movie had the collector scene, a lot of Easter eggs, is there a scene in this movie where you can put in the Adam Warlock [crosstalk 00:15:55]

James Gunn: Oh my God. Our Easter egg obsession is insane. And in fact I have the dumbest Easter egg. We have so many incredibly obscure Easter eggs in this movie that it's ridiculous. Yeah, we've been working hard on the Easter eggs. I feel this need to do it now since people have been pouring over stuff so much.

Are people still hunting that last one?

James Gunn: Yeah.

You know, Howard the Duck has an anniversary this year so you think-

James Gunn: What year is it? How many-

Howard the Duck in Guardians of the Galaxy

I think it's thirty, maybe.

James Gunn: Yeah, that makes sense. You know what, actually every year Howard the Duck has an anniversary.

Bigger anniversary. President in 76.

James Gunn: Oh, that's right, he did run for president. I voted for him.

We've heard the relationship between Rocket and Groot has flipped now where Rocket's the protector.

James Gunn: Yes, Rocket is the protector. Yeah, that's part of the story and the story being about families. And it's about Rocket really trying to- As I've said before, I relate to Rocket more than any of the other characters, and this is really about Rocket coming to terms with accepting his place within a group of people, which probably seemed like a good idea for two seconds when they were getting along and saving a planet. And now he's just not very comfortable with the idea of being a part of this group, which come to think of it, is probably what I'm like with everything in making this movie.

Can you talk about the Infinity Stone, and the impact that it had on Peter and possibly the other members of the team.

James Gunn: You mean like how it's affected them in any way?

Kevin was telling us that the fact that-

James Gunn: When you guys said Kevin telling us I'm like "oh, was Kevin really telling you, or are you tricking me?" Because if Kevin told you I'll tell you everything! [Laughs]

He said that Star-Lord's mythology has expanded because he was able to hold it.

James Gunn: Yes, we say that at the end of the movie. There's a question as to why Star-Lord was able to hold the infinity stone and not be completely and immediately destroyed. And we learn a little bit more about why that's the case in this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Concept Art

You said the reveal of his father isn't biggest reveal, necessarily, in the movie, but how big of an impact does his origin play?

James Gunn: It's incredibly important. Were Peter comes from, and who he is, and his lineage, and his straight-up relationship to his father, and his surrogate father, which is Yondu, all of that stuff is incredibly important.

Related: How The Power Stone Has Changed Star-Lord

Is there a world where, potentially, Peter can have superpowers, or?

James Gunn: I don't know about superpowers, but it's about him seeing what his heritage is, and where does he come from. And I think that thing in all of us, where we want to know where we come from, and who we are. He's an adopted kid, and I come from a family with a lot of adopted kids in my extended family. There's a lot of adopted kids in my family. And in way he has a lot of that in him.

Many people loved how the first film was weird and crazy for a Hollywood movie, and how it pushed the sci-fi angle. Does this push it even further?

James Gunn: Times 10. I was scared last time, and this time I'm not really scared because I know that people want to go see the movie, and they probably will go see the movie, but in terms of this is truly my movie from start to finish and there have been absolutely no restrictions placed on me in terms of that's too far, that's too artistic, or that's too unique, that's too dramatic, that's too comedic. None of that stuff has ever come up. We're really, really pushing it.

I've heard this a couple of the filmmakers in Marvel that it seems like in Phase 3 things have gotten a lot looser, more artistically inclined. Is that your experience?

James Gunn: Yeah. I think that's been true because a lot of different reasons, but I think for me personally, they let me do my movie the first time around and it was a huge hit and much bigger than they expected it to be. So that gives them the faith in me that I know what I'm doing, and they'll let me take it another step further. And I went into Kevin [Feige] and Louis [D'Esposito] with an outlandish premise, and I said I want to do this movie. And they were like "oh fuck, I don't know." They didn't say that to me actually, they were said "oh that's great, that's great." Then I said, "okay good, I'm gonna go write the treatment," and they're like "okay." Then I wrote the treatment and Kevin called me up and he was just ecstatic and he loved the treatment. He loved the story. It pushes things.

I know, people have had different things to say about Marvel, about how creative free they are or not free they are, but for me the rule has always just been stay as good as I can possibly be, and stay one step ahead of the curve, and stay unique, and stay myself. And they seem to like that. Whether or not they would like that with another filmmaker, I don't know! I really don't, and no I do, and of course not! Not everybody likes everybody else's aesthetic, but luckily with me whatever is strange about me to them has always been sort of... nice. So, I've been really, really lucky in that respect. Really incredibly fortunate in that respect.

You said writing Thanos wasn't the most fun part of the first Guardians movie for you, and based on what Kevin told us, this movie's a lot more standalone in terms of interconnectedness. Are you looking forward to the day when you can draw the Guardians into the other pre-established parts of the MCU, or do you want to keep them in your own private corner?

James Gunn: Honest to God for me, I've never been a guy to stack projects. A lot of these other guys they like to do this and then line up what they're doing next, and line up what they're doing next. I just can't do it. It makes me miserable, and by the time I get to that other project is usually not what I want to do. So, I'm doing Guardians Volume Two and then after that am I going to do Guardians Three, am I going to do something else with Marvel, I really, really don't know. We've talk about it. We talk about it all the time. Is it what I want to do, I don't know. I honest to God don't know. And think about it.

Can you talk about the decision to make the movie take place a couple months later as opposed to a couple years, because usually the movies take place in real time, and this is going to be three years and only going to be a couple months. Can you talk about that?

James Gunn: Right. Why to do that?

Yeah.

James Gunn: I think because they're just such fragile egos, and they're so combustible that this is really the time. I think they'd have problems with each other pretty instantly. And so I just felt like it was more-

Again, you ask me why I do these things, I don't know why. Seemed funny when I was writing it. [Laughs] It's what came up, and I thought about it being later and I think a lot of it was the Groot thing as well. When I first started thinking about it, when I was jotting down ideas, I thought Groot was maybe going to be an adult. And I thought "God, what if I just make Groot a baby for the whole movie. Like he's a baby." And I think that just felt right. So a lot of it had to do with that.

Key Release Dates
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
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