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Interview: Kevin Feige From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Set Visit

Elizabeth Debicki plays Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign

So how does Nebula fit into the story then, because she sort of went off on her own at the end of the last one. We don’t know…

Kevin Feige: She cut her own hand off, jumped onto a ship, and flew away. She comes back into the story relatively early on. In fact, we realize that the payment for the mission that the Guardians have done on Sovereign is to get Nebula. The Sovereign has captured Nebula, and are doing sort of a prisoner, are exchanging her for the services of the Guardians helping them, and they want to take Nebula back to Zandar, to have her, to have her arrested. Things go awry on that journey, and she becomes a much bigger player in the film than she was in the first one, and as James said in the sizzle and can talk more about today, you explore that dynamic between them as sisters, as adopted sisters who both, who both, you know, clearly were raised in less than ideal circumstances by Thanos, and it’s sort of Nebula’s deciding does she want to kill Gamora or is she going to set aside this sort of internal rage within her. And she does spend some time teaming up with Taserface for much of the movie too.

It seems like familial conflicts seem to be kind of a thru-line, whether its Rocket and Groot and their relationship, obviously Peter and his father, Gamora and Nebula. Is that, you know, big kind of subtext of this movie, people interacting with their own families and fathers…

Absolutely, and Peter and Yondu, and Peter and his real father, who may show up.

Speaking of his real father, there’s a location over here that is named J'Son, which is his father’s name in the comics. It appears to be a location, as opposed to a person. Can you sort of speak about the location that is J'Son?

Kevin Feige: You know, this room was scrubbed before you guys came in. [laughter]

There's also his ship called J'Son.

Kevin Feige: You can’t take everything out, I guess.

[Laughs]

Kevin Feige: It’s a very good, it’s a very good question. You should ask James. [laughter]

I guess sort of following up on that question, we see a bunch of different locations. How many locations are we going, how many planets are we going to this time. How big is the scope of the galaxy this time?

Kevin Feige: I would say it's as big, if not bigger than the first movie. Sovereign is a planet, Berhert is a planet. Some of these names, actually, in fairness, even not being cute about the J'Son thing, some of these names change, because they’re not often referenced in dialogue, so it comes down to the locator. We changed a lot of the names back and forth before we locked them in in the first movie, but Sovereign is a planet, Berhert is a planet, Contraxia is a planet, J'Son is a planet, so four or five. We see glimpses of two or three other worlds, but these are the major locations.

Is there any Thanos in this?

Kevin Feige: No.

Drax and Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Drax and Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Can you talk a little bit about how Mantis comes into the fold and why she..

Kevin Feige: Yes, yeah. Mantis is, who’s on set today? Who are they going to see? Is she on set today?

Jonathan Schwartz: Everyone is there.

Kevin Feige: She’s amazing. Pom Klementieff, which may or may not be the proper pronunciation, is really amazing and is really unique and is really, and her portrayal of Mantis, she auditioned for the part many, many times, along with many, many other people, because James was doing something very unique with Mantis, who is a, has never really encountered other people and other humans before, humanoids before, and makes Drax look like the most world-savvy person there is, and it’s a tough thing to do and to be endearing, and she’s pretty amazing at it. She comes into the story along with the Kurt Russell character, and doesn’t know the other characters and doesn’t know much of the world, and there is a, talking about the bondings between characters, she and Drax spend a lot of time together in this story as well.

Mantis in the comics is a highly complicated, weird character, whose history makes little sense. I’m assuming we’re sort of clean-slating it here with this version of Mantis, or is the Celestial Madonna stuff in play?

Kevin Feige: Those specifics are not in play, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less complicated and weird. [laughter]

Guardians of the Galaxy 1, even without Thanos in this one, did a lot of heavy lifting for setting up what will become Infinity War. Without Thanos in this movie, what role would you see it functioning within the larger MCU as we’re building toward Infinity War.

Kevin Feige: I mean, this is really, again, I always say, all the movies, Civil War is a standalone story about that, but that fit into it. This is even more of a standalone story than that. This is about the characters. This is about their evolution as heroes, as their own internal family, as the group, a group of characters known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. You know, the way this film ends, and the team at the end, will inform future things, but there’s nothing that nods directly towards it.

More: Thanos is The Main Character of Avengers: Infinity War

There’s, looks like a Nova Corps ship back here, but John C. Reilly and Glenn Close are not in this one?

Kevin Feige: John C. Reilly is not in this one.

Glenn Close might be?

Kevin Feige: Those are two models from the first film. They were like, let’s bring them in here, put them in the room. [laughter]

Glenn Close as Nova Prime in Guardians of the Galaxy

With Nova being introduced in the last movie as sort of a species or police force, are we going to see an evolution of that…

Kevin Feige: Certainly you could see that someday. This movie is not set up for that in any way.

One thing I think people loved about the first film was how weird and crazy you guys got. Are you pushing with this film or is it like you’ve now established the universe.

Kevin Feige: No, we’re pushing. We’re pushing with it. There are a handful of things that we discussed about what the next movie could be about as we were finishing the first movie. When released the first movie and James went off for a little while and took some of those things, and came back and had a pitch for this movie that was amazing - and we were in the midst of a couple of other projects at the time, as we always are - a lot of which were not easy. None of them are easy. And you’re tangling through different story lines and stuff, and James delivered a 64-page treatment. And we were dealing with all these other things and all this stuff, and I was like '64 page treatment? like why can’t it just be 4 page, each sheet, what?!'

I started reading it, frickin’ awe... it was amazing. It was really, and you know it’s changed, it evolved a little bit, but it was so well thought out and so set up in payoffs and character beats and jokes and, that it was just like, '[sigh of relief] maybe I don’t have to worry about this one.' And of course we worry about everything, but what was great, and the thing that was so cool about it is it was, and a little bit easier than the first movie, I guess, that you know the character’s voices now. We were defining all of them as we were going in the first movie. Now you know their voices, so when you read it, you hear that, so to that regard, yes, these characters’ voices are just as distinct and fresh as they were the first time. However, the overarching storyline and where the story takes us, I think is perhaps even more unique and more daring than the first film, in terms of there’s maybe an easy way, and a hard way, but the hard way maybe could be more interesting, which is kind of what Guardians was all about for us, as building a movie universe, and we’re certainly going that way as well in this one.

Was the music a part of that pitch and did you listen to it, and how does the music play into this one.

Kevin Feige: I think he gave a disc at the same time when the treatment came out.

Is the music sort of like diegetic in this again.

Kevin Feige: What does that word mean?

Is it basically off the tape sort of, talk about how the role the music.

Kevin Feige: It is all off the tape. It’s all off of Volume 2. I would say that the other Guardians now know that music is a thing for Peter, so in early scenes, what you see baby Groot here, which he’s just 'Groot' in the movie, but on set we call him baby Groot, he’s setting up these little outerspace speakers so that the music can play for all of them, because Quill likes to hear music when he’s fighting. So, it does go to more than just his headset, but it’s all based off of Volume 2. And I would say that a couple of the songs, and particularly one song has very unique lyrics that play in much more specific part into the plot, than any song did in the first film.

Key Release Dates
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) release date: Aug 01, 2014
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) release date: Jul 07, 2017
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
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