Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) poster

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The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Guardians travel throughout the cosmos as they help Peter Quill learn more about his mysterious parentage.

The film was officially announced at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International before the theatrical release of the first film, along with Gunn's return from the first film, with the title of the sequel revealed a year later in June 2015. The film began principal photography in February 2016 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, with many crew changes from the first film due to other commitments. Filming concluded in June 2016. Gunn chose to set the sequel shortly after the first film to explore the characters' new roles as the Guardians, and to follow the storyline of Quill's father established throughout the first film—Russell was confirmed in that role in July 2016, portraying Ego, a departure from Quill's comic father.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premiered in Tokyo on April 10, 2017 and was released in the United States on May 5, 2017, in 3D and IMAX 3D. It has grossed $862 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2017, while also outgrossing its predecessor which had grossed $773 million. The film received generally positive reviews, particularly for its visuals, soundtrack and cast, though critics deemed it not as "fresh" as the original. A sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, is being developed, with Gunn returning to write and direct.
Cast[edit](L:R) Rooker, Pratt, Saldana, Gillan, Klementieff, Bautista, Debicki, and Russell promoting the film at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con InternationalChris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord:
The half-human, half-Celestial leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy who was abducted from Earth as a child and raised by a group of alien thieves and smugglers called the Ravagers.[5][6] Pratt said Quill is now famous throughout "the galaxy for having saved so many people... He feels like he's part of this group, a leader of this group. He's a little more responsible and trying to stay out of trouble, but not necessarily doing the best job."[7] Pratt stated that working on the film forced him to come to terms with the death of his own father.[8] Pratt returns as part of a multi-film contract with Marvel.[9] Wyatt Oleff once again portrays a young Quill.[10]
Zoe Saldana as Gamora:
A member of the Guardians and an orphan from an alien world who seeks redemption for her past crimes. She was trained by Thanos to be his personal assassin.[6] Saldana described Gamora's role in the team as "the voice of reason", saying, "She's surrounded by all these dudes who are so stupid half the time,"[11] and added that she is the "Mom" of the team, saying that she is "just a meticulous, detailed, professional individual."[12] Regarding Gamora's relationship with Nebula, Saldana described it as "volatile" and added, "we're starting somewhere very crazy but appropriate given where we had ended things off in the first" film.[13]
Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer:
A member of the Guardians and highly skilled warrior in search for vengeance against Thanos for his family's slaughter.[6] Bautista opted to wait for the final version of the script to be surprised by the story and not take "away from the magic" or "put a damper on it", which he felt happened when he read early drafts of the script for the first film.[14] Bautista added that when he first read the script, he "wasn’t crazy about my part. It went a different direction than what I thought they were going to go with Drax. That’s just because I was expecting one thing and got another. So I was a little bit thrown off at first," noting he did not "get the jokes" or "think Drax was that significant in the film". The part "clicked" for Bautista after the table read with the other cast.[15] Describing how Drax has progressed from the first film, Bautista called him "more funny, driven" and having "a sense of innocence and heartbreak about him",[11] despite "most people's first perception of Drax [that] he's just a big, muscly brute, and he's just going to go in and be an all-action character."[16] Bautista's makeup took only 90 minutes to apply, down from four hours for the first film. He added that he would have to sit in a sauna at the end of the day to get the makeup off, after his makeup test found it too "abrasive".[12]
Vin Diesel as Baby Groot:
A member of the Guardians who is a tree-like humanoid and the accomplice of Rocket.[17] The character began growing from a sapling at the end of the first film with the intention of being fully grown by the sequel, but writer/director James Gunn eventually decided to keep him as "Baby Groot"; this decision contributed to Gunn's setting of the film only a few months after the first.[18] Baby Groot does not have any of his previous memories.[19] Gunn felt there was a larger awareness of the character during filming compared to the first film, for which Gunn and the cast "just kind of always forgot he was there," with the stand-in actor not having the same presence that Sean Gunn did portraying Rocket.[20] Diesel added that Baby Groot "couldn't be more naive" and felt the Groot seen in the first film was "a college level Groot. He's not fully grown yet, but he's a man... now he has to start all over, so to speak. So we're going to see this goofy, adorable, baby Groot thing running around the screen. Just kinda learning as he goes."[21] Prop master Russell Bobbitt created a 1:1 scale model of the 10-inch (25 cm) Baby Groot for filming, to use "as a lighting reference and sometimes puppeteered against the actors during the filming of scenes."[22] As Groot only communicates with the phrase "I am Groot" in different inflections, Gunn created a "Groot Version" of the script for himself and Diesel, which contains each of Groot's lines in English.[23] Diesel used a higher register of his voice for Baby Groot, which was then pitched up by seven to nine semitones depending on the take, to achieve "the proper nuance". He also delivered the lines slowly to avoid any time stretching issues that would affect the compression.[24] Diesel recorded Groot's voice for sixteen foreign-language releases of the film, up from six in the first film.[25] Sean Gunn provided on-set reference for adolescent Groot in the post-credit sequence.[26]
Bradley Cooper as Rocket:
A member of the Guardians who is a genetically modified raccoon bounty hunter and mercenary, who is also a master of weapons and military tactics.[6] Sean Gunn once again served as the stand-in for the character during filming,[27] with Cooper's performance also referenced.[26] Sean Gunn stated that, similar to the first film, "Rocket has the same sort of crisis of faith about whether or not he belongs in this family."[28] James Gunn added, "this is really about Rocket coming to terms with accepting his place within a group of people, which probably seemed like a good idea for two seconds when they were kind of getting along and saving the planet, and now's it's like, he's just not very comfortable with the idea with being a part of this group." Feige stated that the relationship between Rocket and Groot has changed, saying, "Whereas Groot was Rocket's protector in the first movie, Rocket is Groot's protector."[12]
Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta:
A blue-skinned buccaneer who is the leader of the Ravagers, a fatherly figure to Quill,[29] and member of the Guardians.[30] Yondu has a larger head fin in the film, bringing the character's look closer to his comic counterpart.[31] Rooker also worked with the prosthetic department to add gaps to his prosthetic teeth, "just like real teeth have gaps in them so the air can escape", to aid him in whistling as the character.[32] Rooker explained that, for the sequel, Gunn "wanted people to experience more in-depth what Yondu was thinking and how he's feeling—a more serious Yondu. There are things from Yondu's past that audiences find are much darker and more sinister; those feelings and emotions are rearing their heads and affecting Yondu." Rooker noted the complex relationship between Yondu and Quill where "It's somewhat of a father/son relationship, where we don't agree on things...they are constantly at each other's throats [but] Yondu truly cares about this kid."[33] Discussing Yondu's death at the end of the film, Gunn said he "didn't want that to be the ending, and I kind of refused to put that in as the ending for a long time...But, at the end of the day, I knew that's where it needed to go. I knew that we need to have real stakes in these movies." He continued, "The whole movie led to that one moment.... This is a story about a father's love for his son, his ultimate love, so much love that he sacrifices himself for that, and that's what Yondu is. He is 100 percent Peter Quill's father" despite Ego being Quill's biological father.[34] Before the release of Vol. 2, Rooker spent time on the set of Avengers: Infinity War. Gunn explained that this was done to counteract rumors that the actor was not in that film because of his death in this one.[35]
Karen Gillan as Nebula:
An adopted daughter of Thanos who was raised with Gamora as siblings,[36] and a reluctant member of the Guardians.[13] Gillan stated the film would further explore the sisterly relationship between Nebula and Gamora,[37] including their backstory "and what happened to these two girls growing up and actually how awful it was for them and how it's ruined their relationship",[12] adding "we're [also] going to start to see how much pain [Thanos] actually caused [Nebula]... we really start to see the emotional crack in her character".[38] While Gillan had to shave her head for the first film, she only had to shave half of her head for the sequel, taking away the underneath part and leaving the top.[38] Gillan's makeup took two and a half hours to apply, down from five hours for the first film.[22]
Pom Klementieff as Mantis:
A member of the Guardians with empathic powers who lives with Ego.[39][40] Executive producer Jonathan Schwartz said the character "has never really experienced social interaction", and "learns about dealing with people" and "social intricacies" from the other Guardians.[41] Klementieff added, "She was really lonely and by herself, so it's a completely new thing to meet these people and to discover new things and new emotions and a new way of sharing things...I think it's like a kid, you know? You discover things and you're curious about things and you make mistakes and you say, like, weird things or you're awkward." Mantis and Drax also have an "interesting" relationship according to Feige, since "they're both complete odd balls".[12] Steve Englehart, Mantis's co-creator, was disappointed with the character's portrayal, saying, "That character has nothing to do with Mantis ... I really don’t know why you would take a character who is as distinctive as Mantis is and do a completely different character and still call her Mantis."[42]
Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha:
The golden High Priestess and the leader of the Sovereign people,[43][44][45] a genetically engineered race who are "gold and perfect and wanting to be physically and mentally impeccable." Gunn was "very specific" when writing the character, and after casting director Sarah Finn suggested Debicki, Gunn "knew right away that she was the one". Gunn highlighted the actress's beauty and 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) height. Debicki wore platform shoes to increase her height to 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m).[33]
Chris Sullivan as Taserface:
The leader of a mutinous group of the Ravagers.[43][45] Gunn originally posted a photo of the comic book character on his social media after landing Guardians of the Galaxy, calling him "the dumbest character of all time" and saying he would never feature the character in a film. After eventually deciding to use the character in the sequel, Gunn felt the character had given himself the name Taserface and is "a real dumbass".[46] Sullivan's makeup took two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours to apply each day.[47]
Sean Gunn as Kraglin:
Yondu's second-in-command in the Ravagers.[36] Kraglin has an expanded role compared to the previous film—Sean Gunn explained, "In the first film he did a lot of just saying yes and being at Yondu's side, but in this movie things take a little bit of a different turn as Kraglin has a little bit of a crisis of conscience and has to decide whether he's going to stick with Yondu or join forces with the growing faction of mutineers."[33][48]
Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord:
A high-ranking Ravager who has a history with Yondu.[31][49] Stallone called his character's relationship with Yondu "pretty intense and it's kind of a father/son type of thing".[33] Gunn described Stakar as "very important to the Marvel Universe",[50] and said that though he was unsure whether Stallone would appear in Vol. 3 at the time of Vol. 2's release, "it's our plan to see more of Stallone" in future MCU films.[51]
Kurt Russell as Ego:
An ancient Celestial who is Quill's father.[31][43] Pratt was the first to suggest to Gunn that he consider Russell for the role; he portrays an avatar of Ego who is more traditionally seen in the comics in his "Living Planet" form.[52] Russell appreciated why he was wanted for the role after seeing Pratt's performance in the first film, feeling "That's my kinda guy. I know where that kind of goof comes from." He added, "I bring the right things [from previous roles]...I connected the dots from some of the things I've done in the past."[53] Ego replaces Quill's original comic father of J'son,[54] and was allowed to be used in the film after 20th Century Fox reached a deal with Marvel Studios to return the film rights of Ego for changing the power set of Negasonic Teenage Warhead, whom Fox wanted to use in Deadpool(2016).[55] Gunn originally thought Marvel held the rights to the character, and stated that, had the deal with Fox not been made, there was "no back up plan, and it would [have been] nearly impossible to just drop another character in," given the extensive work done surrounding the character.[56] For the film's opening sequence, set in 1980 Missouri, Aaron Schwartz served as facial reference for the young Ego.[57][58]

Additionally, reprising their roles from the first film are Laura Haddock as Meredith Quill, Gregg Henry as her father, Seth Green as the voice of Howard the Duck, and canine actor Fred as Cosmo.[59][58][60] Members of Yondu's Ravager crew appearing in the film include Evan Jones as Wrench, Jimmy Urine as Half-Nut, Stephen Blackehart as Brahl,[45] Steve Agee as Gef,[45][61] Mike Escamilla as Scrote,[62] Joe Fria as Oblo, Terence Rosemore as Narblik,[45] and Tommy Flanagan as Tullk,[63][45][64] as well as Charred Walls of the Damned drummer and Howard Stern Show personality Richard Christy in a cameo appearance.[65] Many of these actors are close friends with Gunn.[33] The other members of Stakar and Yondu's old team, based on the comic's original incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy, include Michael Rosenbaum as Martinex, Ving Rhames as Charlie-27, and Michelle Yeoh as Stakar's female counterpart Aleta Ogord.[51][60] Also included in the team are the CG characters Krugarr and Mainframe, with the latter voiced, in an uncredited cameo, by Miley Cyrus.[51][66] Rosenbaum had previously auditioned to play Peter Quill in Vol. 1.[67] Gunn cast Yeoh because of his love of 1990s Hong Kong films,[68] and Cyrus after admiring "the tone of her voice" while watching her as a judge on The Voice.[66] He added that the team would return in future MCU films alongside Stallone's Stakar.[51]

Stan Lee appears as an informant to the Watchers, discussing previous adventures that include Lee's cameos in other MCU films; he specifically mentions his time as a FedEx delivery man, referring to Lee's cameo in Captain America: Civil War.[69] This acknowledged the fan theory that Lee may be portraying the same character in all his cameos,[70] with Gunn noting that "people thought Stan Lee is [Uatu the Watcher] and that all of these cameos are part of him being a Watcher. So, Stan Lee as a guy who is working for the Watchers was something that I thought was fun for the MCU."[69][70] Feige added that Lee "clearly exists, you know, above and apart from the reality of all the films. So the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the jump gate sequence in Guardians...really says, so wait a minute, he's this same character who's popped up in all these films?"[71] Lee filmed several different versions of the scene, including an alternative where he references his role in Deadpool, which would have been the first acknowledgment of the X-Men film series by an MCU film.[70] Gunn later admitted that the Civil War reference is a continuity error, given Vol. 2 is set before the events of Civil War, saying, "I screwed up; I wasn't thinking. But I'm going to say that probably Stan Lee used the guise of a Fed Ex guy more than one time."[69]

David Hasselhoff makes a cameo appearance as himself, when Ego shape-shifts to his likeness,[10] while Rob Zombie once again has a Ravager voice cameo.[72][58]Footage of Jeff Goldblum dancing as the Grandmaster from the set of Thor: Ragnarok appears briefly during the end credits, with Feige explaining that Marvel "thought it would be fun to put it in there" and hint at the connection between that character and the Collector, who appeared in the first film.[73] Ben Browder, the star of the series Farscape which Gunn is a big fan of, cameos as a Sovereign Admiral.[74] Jim Gunn Sr. and Leota Gunn, parents of James and Sean Gunn, also make cameo appearances in the film.