Fandango was lucky enough to visit the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 last year, and we brought back all kinds of nerdy little nuggets on what's definitely one of 2017's most anticipated films.
First, read our complete guide to the Guardians sequel, including new characters, returning ones, villains, monsters and more.
Now let's dig in some more. Here are some big questions you hard-core fans of Guardians of the Galaxy might want answered. Will Thanos return? What about Howard the Duck? How about those Infinity Stones? And what Marvel character does Chris Pratt really want Star-Lord to go up against?
Check this out.
Q: Why is the sequel set only a couple of months after the events of the first movie and not a couple of years?
A: According to writer-director James Gunn, they did that because of the Guardians’ “fragile egos.”
“They're so combustible that this is really the time. I think they'd have problems with each other pretty instantly.”
Q: Do we see more of Thanos in Vol. 2?
A: “No,” according to Marvel’s Kevin Feige. We get a sense they’re saving him for Avengers: Infinity War, and also because writer-director James Gunn didn’t necessarily feel like he belonged this time around. That even though Thanos is father to Gamora and Nebula, Gunn wanted it to be more about two sisters and not about two sisters and their father.
“It really isn't about Thanos, and frankly I just wasn't inspired to put him in the movie,” Gunn said. “I kind of go with my gut on these things and it just wasn't what I wanted to do. It's not about [Gamora and Nebula’s] relationship with Thanos. It's about their relationship to each other, and what is that. That was interesting to me, and I thought that was important to our story, and that was important to our characters. There's a lot of stuff that happened in the past that affects our characters presently.”
Q: What about the Infinity Stones – do they play a part?
A: As far as we’ve been told, no. However…
“There's a question as to why Star-Lord was able to hold the infinity stone and not be completely and immediately destroyed,” Gunn said. “And we learn a little bit more about why that's the case in this movie.”
Q: Does Benicio Del Toro’s "The Collector" make another appearance?
A: No. The Collector was one of the eccentric highlights of the first film, but this time around he won’t be a part of the story.
Guardians producer Jonathan Schwartz explains why: “We love the Collector. We'd love to tell more of that story but I think there's so much more of the cosmic of the Marvel universe to explore that it's about establishing new worlds and going new places. It wasn't about visiting characters we've seen before.”
Q: Okay, so what about Howard the Duck? Does he come back?
A: Maybe. Fans will recall Howard the Duck’s brief appearance in the first film, as part of the Collector’s collection. Good news for those who want to see him again is that no one is ruling out the possibility.
“I think that would be awesome,” Producer Jonathan Schwartz said. “The good news about Howard the Duck is he's in all the effects, so he can have whatever moment he wants.”
Q: The first Guardians of the Galaxy was littered with fun Easter eggs. Will that be the case again in the sequel?
A: Oh hell yeah. Writer-director James Gunn confirmed there will be plenty of little things to look out for in Vol. 2.
“Oh my God, our Easter-egg obsession is insane!" Gunn said. “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.
Q: What's it like holding baby Groot?
A: Glad you asked! While we were on set, there was one point where the on-set model for baby Groot was brought out. Safely guarded in an insanely secure briefcase, baby Groot was a bit soft and adorable, and so lifelike we were half expecting him to spit out a little "I am Groot." Definitely a highlight, and based on James Gunn's comments it's been a lot easier for the cast to work with Groot this time around now that they clearly know his place among the team.
"Now everyone knows Groot so well that we have much larger awareness, me and the cast, of a baby Groot being there at all times," Gunn said. "And him being one of the members in the scene."
Q: Does the Guardians' spaceship Milano return?
A: Yes, of course it’s back! But now that all the Guardians have been living in for a few months, it ain’t exactly in the best shape.
“It's very much as we left it,” Producer Jonathan Schwartz said. “The difference is the Guardians have been living in it for a few months -- it's not really a ship made for that many people. So the extent that their high egos and rock 'n roll sensibilities are starting to intrude on the family dynamic, that's sort of reflected in the state of the Milano when we find it.”
Q: Speaking of ships, what does the inside of Kurt Russell's ship look like?
A: Good thing you asked! While we were on set, we took a group shot inside Ego's ship, which kinda has this '60s retro-futurist vibe going on. Peep it above.
Q: What other ships and planets will we see?
A: The Ravagers ship Eclector will be back, along with a ship called Quadrant, which is related to the Ravagers ship and may belong to one of the film’s villains, Taserface.
Planets we’ll see in the sequel include Berhert and Contraxia, the latter of which is described by Producer Jonathan Schwartz as a “very cool ice world” where we first come upon the Ravagers.
Q: What were the visual inspirations for the sequel?
A: Pulp art and awesome rock-cover albums, according to James Gunn.
“There's a conscious return to pulp and getting a greater sense of getting pulp from all areas,” he said. “But everything from '50s Amazing Stories covers to the '60s stuff that you can see in the ships. It's very
'60s-inspired, a lot of almost Ralph Bakshi-inspired, and Yes album-cover-inspired stuff. And we got some jet-packs! We got some good jetpacks going on.”
Q: Will we see new members join the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of the movie?
A: Quite possibly!
“There are a few members that will be helping the Guardians out along the course of this movie,” Producer Schwartz said. “Perhaps by the end of the movie, someone will have joined them on board. “
Q: If Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord could take on any Marvel character, who would it be?
A: “I think it would be awesome for Star-Lord to meet Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin somehow,” Pratt said, laughing. “That would be awesome. I was always a fan of the Punisher. That was my dude who I loved growing up. I had the murals of him on my wall and stuff, so that would be pretty awesome.”
Q: What about Zoe Saldana? What Marvel character does she want to team with?
A: “The Hulk,” she said without hesitation. “Or should I just be more specific? Mark Ruffalo. He’s my Infinitely Polar Bear.”
Q: Is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 a movie for people who feel like outsiders?
A: “I think outsiders as a whole reacted to the Guardians,” Gunn said. “Listen, that's what I am. That's what I feel like. But it's being able to tell those stories for those people is really the only reason I give a s**t about any of this, frankly. And the only reason I would ever put myself through this is to be able to bring people together, and make people feel like maybe they belong a little bit more than they would feel before they saw the movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5.