Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 begins filming next month at Pinewood Studios Atlanta where writer-director James Gunn has already been situated for months conducting preparations. It'll be the first ever film shot using RED’s new WEAPON 8K camera system. Not much is known about the plot of the sequel, only that it'll be more personal, emotional, and in a sense smaller.
That doesn't mean the cosmic adventure is going to be small in scale. It means that there are fewer characters this time around, allowing the followup to delve deeper into the relationships and backstories of the Guardians themselves. It is "a story about fathers," after all. With that in mind, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - like the Avengers - will see its hero roster evolve.
In his many Q&A Periscope and Facebook live streaming sessions with fans, Gunn made it clear that he had planned and written for two new characters to join the Guardians of the Galaxy for the sequel. One of them was cut because they didn't add anything to the story outside of making it too busy. Instead, there's only one new member. That character is Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who was cast in October.
Gunn had previously said however, the idea that other characters, familiar ones already introduced, could join the team - even teasing the idea when the original Guardians of the Galaxy released that an Avenger could potentially join the team one day. From a recent rumor about a certain character in Captain America: Civil War going a certain somewhere, we can already envision the possibilities...
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Team Roster
Given the casting of Pom Klementieff and the confirmed returning stars - nearly everyone from the original film - it's easy to see what the "hero" roster may look like in GOTG 2. We know Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his space pirate Ravagers will be back for instance, and since the sequel will explore the relationship between Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his yet-to-be-identified father (whom Yondu worked for) - he'll be back in a big way. In the comics, Yondu is one of the original time-displaced Guardians so him fighting alongside the titular motley crew once again is a safe bet.
Nebula (Karen Gillan), the adopted sister of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), is also returning and it's easy to fathom them teaming up too simply over their shared hatred of their evil parent Thanos. With Avengers: Infinity War being the connective point of Phase 3 of the MCU, it's possible Nebula will be a major player in the long haul since in the comics she's the character who uses the Infinity Gauntlet to undo the damage to the universe caused by Thanos.
These three names are the subject of a report from Geek.com, their fourth Marvel movie scoop of the week, who claim to have insiders "close with the production" revealing that Mantis, Nebula, and Yondu will be joining the roster in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Their earlier report claimed Ego the Living Planet will make an appearance in the sequel as well, but this latest one has us slightly bewildered. We've been unable to clarify if they have multiple sources and if they're actually involved with the production because this one reads as if it's speculation based on what Gunn has already said.
Mantis, by default, is part of the team for instance. As for Yondu and Nebula, who we already know are returning too, we'll have to wait and see if Yondu actually leaves Kraglin (played by James Gunn's brother Sean Gunn) and the Ravagers behind to join the team.
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 7, 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.