The Guardians of the Galaxy return next summer to theaters and principal photography is nearly complete on the sequel which brings back the ragtag group of cosmic heroes with a new addition in Mantis (Pom Klementieff). The official Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cast was announced by Marvel Studios in February revealing that nearly everyone from the first movie is returning (except for Benicio Del Toro and John C. Reilly) alongside a few new faces whose characters weren't revealed at the time.
Reports and rumors have since provided some idea of who the new additions were playing and now there's even more evidence of who the primary villain might be for Marvel's next cosmic tale... and it's a character related to Adam Warlock!
More on who these characters are shortly. First, let's recap who's new in the movie. Klementieff is joined in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 by Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Kurt Russell, Tommy Flanagan, and - if rumors are true - Sylvester Stallone. Russell seems all but confirmed to be playing Star-Lord's dad but who his character is will be different than the character from the comics - that much was confirmed by writer and director James Gunn.
As for the others, In March CBM dropped a scoop claiming that Tommy Flanagan is playing Tullk Ul-Zyn and Chris Sullivan is playing Taserface - both minor characters from various cosmic stories - and that Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) would be playing the gold-skinned Ayesha. The latter is the most interesting potential reveal and the one that a new report seems to corroborate.
Ayesha, the being also known as "Her" or Paragon or Kismet, was introduced in Marvel Comics in the late '70s. She was genetically engineered from the ground up in a test tube to be perfect by a group called the Enclave - the same group who similarly created another "perfect" being known as "Him" who Marvel Comics readers will immediately recognize as Adam Warlock (the key player in the fight against Thanos).
JoBlo claims in a new report yesterday - which also reveals a Thor: Ragnarok details and Planet Hulk connections - that their sources confirm that Ayesha is definitely the villain of GOTG 2. If Debicki is indeed playing Ayesha and if there's any chance James Gunn is going deep into that character's background from the source material, than this might be the first time (outside of that cocoon in Guardians 1) that we have a potential direct connection to Adam Warlock - the most essential character in Marvel Comics in classic Infinity Stone and Thanos stories and a key member of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy comics for which the films take their inspiration from (specifically the 2008-10 Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning run).
It's also Adam Warlock who grouped some of the modern Guardians characters together decades prior in the Warlock and the Infinity Watch series which followed 1991's The Infinity Gauntlet event that the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have been setting up all along. An Infinity Watch adaptation (which would necessarily follow the events of Avengers 3-4 and feature Guardians characters) is one of the many properties we suggested as a potential candidate for its own movie in Marvel Phase 4. And it ties in nicely to details revealed from last summer's casting call reports for Avengers: Infinity War which included a namedrop of Adam Warlock and his evil alter ego, Magus.
Could Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 pave the way for an eventual Adam Warlock introduction? Does it need to? Such an introduction would drastically change up what characters should get the most screen time in the next two Avengers movies and also open up some intriguing possibilities for what the Guardians of the Galaxy could look like in Phase 4. An Adam Warlock intro could allow for cosmic spinoffs (that James Gunn says he's interested in) and a very different Guardians team lineup.
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Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.