It’s the weekend many have been waiting for! “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” finally hits theaters this weekend to kick off the summer blockbuster season and continue Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So to prepare for this weekend’s fun I took a look at ten fun facts about the film you should or might want to know going into the theater.
For this list I looked at a bunch of fun facts about the making of “Guardians: Volume 2” or the characters and story featured in the movie. I tried my best to be spoiler free, but regardless these are all facts I thought were interesting and worth enjoying as the film hits US theaters this weekend. These are not really in any particular order. If you know any other fun facts please leave a comment below and be sure to catch the fun this weekend at “Guardians: Volume 2” hits the big screen.
10: Retro MacGyver
The first “Guardians” film introduced us to the retro feel of Star-Lord, who still used an old cassette tape and had an affinity for music classics like “Come and Get Your Love”. That character trait obviously continues in “Guardians: Volume 2”, but prop master Russell Bobbitt admitted it was a bit difficult to find what he needed to fit the retro theme. He had difficulty finding cassette decks for the film and all of the Sony Walkman headphones he found were broken and unusable. He went to Sony to see if he could find any for filming to no avail, so what did he do? He made it own! Bobbitt MacGyvered six headphones from scratch to give Star-Lord a set of authentic-looking headphones for the film.
9: A Little Bit of Ego
In the film we get to meet Star-Lord’s father, Ego, which, in the comics, is literally a living planet and in “Guardians: Volume 2” will be portrayed by Kurt Russell. We don’t know a lot about his motivation or impact on the story, however we do know the complicated process it took for Marvel to have Ego in the film. James Gunn, the films writer and director, wanted to include Ego from the start and believed that Marvel had the rights to the character, but he was wrong. Ego was under the control of 20th Century Fox who holds the rights to the X-Men characters as well. In a trade, Fox reverted the rights to Marvel in exchange for the rights to powers they could include with Negasonic Teenage Warhead in “Deadpool”. The film will feature a flashback to the 1980s where a digitally deaged Kurt Russell will reveal more about the relationship between himself and Star-Lord’s mother.
8. “The Dark Tower” Connection
It just so happens that this week the first trailer for “The Dark Tower” was released, but few know the minor connection between that film and “Guardians: Volume 2”. As it turns out Kurt Russell was not the first choice to play Ego. Matthew McConaughey was among several actors considered for the part on a list that included Gary Oldman, Viggo Mortensen, Chritoph Waltz, Christopher Pummer, Max von Sydow, and Liam Neeson. McConaughey actually turned down the role to appear as the villain in “The Dark Tower” and thus the role was given to Kurt Russell. Both films are being released in 2017.
7. Welcome Mantis
“Guardians: Volume 2” will add a few new members to the Guardians crew, including Mantis who has the power to sense empathy, or how people feel. In the comics Mantis is an earthling guardian and received her powers from the Kree, the same alien race as the first film’s villain Ronan. It’s unknown whether or not this origin story will stay true, well we at least know she won’t be human according to James Gunn, but we do know that she will have been raised by Ego and will become a member of the Guardians as kind of the female counterpart to Drax as both are socially unique when compared to the rest of the crew. Considering that her relationship with Ego makes her a de-facto adopted sister for Star-Lord it will be interesting to see if that dynamic plays out on screen or if we see more of a connection with Drax or any of the other Guardians for that matter.
6. An Extended Stan Lee Story
Stan Lee cameos are as predictable as post-credit scenes in Marvel movies and for “Guardians: Volume 2” they are trying something different. James Gunn confirmed Lee will cameo again in the film and it is one of four Lee cameos filmed in a single day. Lee’s appearance will apparently tie in to his previous interactions with MCU heroes as he plays an astronaut discussing his past adventures, including previous cameos. Gunn said that he actually directed the Lee cameo feature in 2016’s Doctor Strange but did not detail what the other two cameos filmed that day would be. It’s assumed by many that these cameos may be for “Spiderman: Homecoming” and “Thor: Ragnarok”.
5. Five Post Credit Scenes
Speaking of post-credit scenes, they are a predictable addition to any film in the MCU and helped establish the universe in the first “Iron Man” film with the debut of Nick Fury. The first “Guardians” film featured a cameo by Howard the Duck. In April James Gunn confirmed there are five post credits scenes, the most of any Marvel film to date, in “Guardians: Volume 2” and early details from the movie have surfaced explaining a few potential spoilers as to what these post-credits scenes contain, one of which seems to be a pretty big revelation related to the outcome of the film that I’m a bit disappointed myself was spoiled for me. So I won’t go into details of what I know here, but I will say we will get some surprise cameos and, maybe, a bit of closure so stay through the credits for all that fun.
4. Diesel Back As Groot
Despite seeing Groot “sacrifice” himself in the previous film we did see him return as a growing Groot at the end of the movie. For this second film he will return as Baby Groot with Vin Diesel once again taking the role, but this time he will be more involved. Not only in Diesel playing Groot’s voice, he is also did motion capture for the character. Because Groot only speaks with one phrase, “I am Groot”, James Gunn actually created a “Groot Version” of the script for himself and Vin Diesel so that Diesel knew what he was saying in English and could provide the proper inflections in how he was saying it. Gunn was originally cautious about proposing a Baby Groot to Disney but said he was excited when the company embraced the idea to show a new side of the first film’s most popular character.
3. A Sequel Already On The Way
As with the first “Guardians” film, “Volume 2” saw an announcement for a follow-up before it even hit theaters. James Gunn has already confirmed a third film is in the making with the second film slated to be a huge success even before it’s official US release with massive oversees numbers already rolling in. The third film is expected to take place during or after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” however the details are still be ironed out of course. This film was actually announced a week prior to the release of the first film and the announcement of the third was released around a month before the release of “Volume 2”.
2. No New Infinity Stone
In the first “Guardians” film we were introduced to the deeper lore of the Infinity Stones with one being at the center of the action. For “Guardians: Volume Two” we can expect the story to take a step back from the Infinity Stones as James Gunn has said neither The Collector, who is seeking the stones, or the final Infinity Stone will be part of the film. Thanos, who is also seeking the stones and will be the antagonist for the next Avengers film, will also not be in the film despite being in the first one. Gunn confirmed the news on Facebook after fans began to question whether the final stone would be included, but instead we will see a story that is a unique conflict closer to home for the Guardians rather than having the film be a way to shoehorn in the final stone which many believe will be revealed in either “Thor: Ragnarok” or in 2018’s “Black Panther” solo film.
1. Set in 2014
Those following the Marvel Cinematic Universe know that the filmmakers have done a pretty decent job of being able to manage a timeline within the extended universe. For “Guardians: Volume 2” we will be going back in time a bit to 2014 only three months after the events of the first “Guardians” film. This puts the movie before “Thor: The Dark World”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and any film preceding these movies in the timeline including the upcoming films and “Ant Man” and “Civil War”. This makes “Guardians: Volume 2” one of the earliest set sequel film in the series after “Iron Man 2” which occurred before the events of every other sequel in the canon. This also makes it the second film, in chronological order based on the MCU timeline, after the events of the first “Avengers” movie following “Iron Man 3”, meaning even though this film is released during the MCU Phase 3 rollout, it actually takes place before nearly all of the films in Phase 2, which ended with “Age of Ultron” and “Ant Man”. Cool huh? Although this could be disputed, as it is still unclear exactly where “Doctor Strange” fits into the timeline of the film, but most assume it is in the aftermath of “Civil War” or “Age of Ultron” based on numerous potential Easter eggs in the script.