Yesterday director James Gunn and the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 took to the stage in Hall H of the San Diego Comic-Con to showcase some footage from next year’s Marvel sequel [read a description here], as well as revealing some pretty major details about the film – not least the identity of Star-Lord’s father as Ego, the Living Planet, played by Kurt Russell. Following the panel, Gunn took to Facebook to share his thoughts in a rather lengthy post:
Whoa! So we just got off stage at the San Diego Comicon showing not one, but THREE Guardians clips: 1) A piece from the film featuring Yondu, Rocket, baby Groot, and the Ravagers, 2) A behind-the-scenes featurette of me and the cast working on the forthcoming Guardians attraction at Disneyland, and 3) A special glimpse at a montage of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
I thought I’d share with you guys what we shared with everyone there.
If you don’t want minor spoilers from the film, don’t continue to read. I won’t hold it against you, I swear.
Here are the headlines –
THE RAVAGERS ARE A BIG PART OF VOL. 2
Most were on hand for the SDCC presentation, disrupting the proceedings as Ravagers are prone to do. We learn that they’ve had a somewhat contentious, even mutinous, relationship with Yondu since Vol. 1, due to the fact that Yondu let Peter Quill go without reprisal after not giving them the orb.
The leader in all of these shenanigans is the incredibly-powerful yet incredibly ridiculously-named TASERFACE, played by Chris Sullivan (it’s worth noting that four years ago when I was hired for the first Guardians film, I joked that I was going to make Taserface my villain. I suppose it’s no longer a joke).
Joining Chris in full Ravager regalia, was, of course, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, as well as these new Ravagers, all featured in the film:
Wretch, played by Evan Jones
Half-Nut, played by Jimmy Urine
Brahl, played by Stephen Blackehart
Gef the Ravager, played by Steve Agee
Oblo, played by Joe Fria
Narblik, play by Terence Rosemore
MICHAEL ROOKER SHOWED UP IN FULL YONDU MODE
With a big-ass fin on his head. ‘Nuff said.
NEBULA IS A MAJOR PART OF THE FILM
As Karen Gillan knows – because I told her during my first meeting with her – GotG Vol. 1 was just a glimpse at a character I had major plans for in the future of the Guardians-verse. I did not lie.
ELIZABETH DEBICKI PLAYS AYESHA
Ayesha is the golden High Priestess of a genetically-perfect people called the Sovereign. She’s not a woman to be screwed with – she, and her entire world, are extraordinarily deadly.
WE CAUGHT A FIRST LOOK AT MANTIS
Our look for Mantis is similar to her original look in the comics – she’s the same color as Pom Klementieff, the actress who plays her (i.e not green), and she has antennae. We saw just a tiny little glimpse of her in the Comic-Con footage. More will be coming. She’s been one of my favorite parts of making this film.
YES, SYLVESTER STALLONE IS IN THE FILM
This was an amazing experience for me, considering I ran around in my backyard as a kid pretending I was Johnny Rambo. Working with Sly was one of the high points of shooting Vol. 2 for me.
Who does he play? Well, I can’t reveal that quite yet… but we do see him interacting with Yondu in the teaser.
TWO SONGS PLAYED IN THE FOOTAGE
“Come a Little Bit Closer,” by Jay and the Americans, played during the clip where Yondu faces off against some of the Ravagers.
“The Chain,” by Fleetwood Mac was the song used in the montage.
Am I saying these songs are part of Awesome Mix Vol. 2? Not necessarily. But they are great tunes…
A NEW DISNEYLAND GOTG ATTRACTION IS COMING
I’m a huge Disneyland fan and the Tower of Terror is my second favorite attraction there (Space Mountain is number one). So when the folks approached me, asking me to be involved with a new Guardians attraction, I was apprehensive.
But then the Walt Disney Imagineering folks showed me what they had in mind and MY MIND WAS COMPLETELY BLOWN. It was awesome. Exhilarating and novel and interactive. I can’t be more pleased to have partnered up with Walt Disney Imagineering in this production, helping to direct and shape the experience so that it has all the heart and fun and humor Guardians movies do.
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and I, along with a few other members of the Guardians cast, put our full effort into making it as great as we knew it could be. We shot most of it while we were in Atlanta shooting Vol. 2, and I can’t wait for you guys to see it and experience it firsthand the next time you visit the park.
WE DISCLOSED THE IDENTITY OF PETER QUILL’S FATHER
This is the biggie, I guess. And, yes, as many people guessed, or assumed, Kurt Russell is playing Peter Quill’s father. And Peter Quill’s father is (as almost no one has guessed)…
Known in the comics as Ego the Living Planet.
Yeah, his dad is a planet. Sort of. It will all be explained in the film..
But to me, this is the absolute center of Vol. 2, and one of the reasons I’ve been so excited about it. When Marvel first approached me with the first movie, I thought, “Wait a second? A talking raccoon? Isn’t that a rather ridiculous idea to base a movie around?”
It was then that I took a step back and asked myself: Okay, if a raccoon could talk, and shoot a machine gun, how could that be? And answering that question ended up being the entire foundation of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. There was a sadness in the answer. Rocket was an animal experimented upon, torn apart and put back together, without compassion. He was the only being of his type, had never known any hint of kindness, and was utterly and completely alone until he met his fellow Guardians. And, one of them in particular – Groot – thought it was worth sacrificing his life for his sake. This melancholy and beautiful undercurrent helped to ground the character for me. He had far more in common with Frankenstein’s monster than he did Bugs Bunny. And I related to him, greatly, and I hoped other folks who felt like outsiders would as well.
Ego seemed, in many ways, like an even more ridiculous character. But I asked myself, if a planet was alive, how could that be? And how could it father a child?
The answers to those questions took me to a far deeper place that I expected. I don’t want to give away too many answers at this time. But what Nova Prime said about Peter’s father at the end of Vol. 1 is certainly true – he is something ancient and unknown. And, as we will discover, being a cosmic being, alone for eons, is perhaps even more lonely than being the universe’s sole talking raccoon.
I can’t wait for you guys to see Kurt Russell bring this character to life onscreen. It has been a rapturous experience creating Ego with him. We have both pushed ourselves as far as we can go in making him real, and grounded, and emotionally centered.
I also can’t wait for all of you to see this movie. I really, really love it. Never has anything I’ve done flowed as smoothly as this project, and been so true and consistent from the first day I started writing it until today, as we edit it and create our visual effects.
And, worry not. Although you’ve learned a lot today, we have countless more surprises for you as we get closer to our release date. And even more of them in the movie itself.
Stay tuned to this page for more updates as we approach May 5, 2017 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled for release on April 28th 2017 in the UK and on May 5th in the States, with director James Gunn reuniting with returning cast members Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Glenn Close (Nova Prime) and Sean Gunn (Kraglin) alongside new additions Pom Klementieff (Oldboy) as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Ayesha, Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight) as Ego the Living Planet, Chris Sullivan (The Drop) as Taserface and Sylvester Stallone (Creed) in as yet-unrevealed role.