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Unread 2017-04-05, 10:09 PM   #101
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Costume Changes Coming For The Guardians Of The Galaxy


  • You could make the case that creating costumes for Guardians of the Galaxy is more challenging than any other Marvel franchise. For one, its superhero adventures take place in outer space, on alien worlds, so the costumes have to look non-earthly but not too sci-fi-y — based on a request from director James Gunn. Secondly, since there are so many different races of alien species featured throughout, creating some sort of visual cohesion with green, grey, blue and pink skinned characters is very difficult to pull off.

And as cool as the costumes look, they also can convey something deeper. For example: before the random, intergalactic team of misfits head off on their final battle with Ronan, they all (except Groot) all end up in Ravagers' gear to signify that they are now a family.
However, since the sequel will be about the team struggling to maintain that kinship, can we still expect a cohesive visual identity for the Guardians?
"I'd say, in the beginning of the movie a little bit, but less so as we go on," executive producer Jonathan Schwartz told ComicBook.com, along with other members of the press, during a set visit. "Part of them kind of, getting full of themselves and believing their own hype and fame. It's the idea that they are distinguishing themselves visually a little bit. And you see that in the costume design. They are a little more rock 'n roll. They kinda think they're awesome now. Which is, at least, a little visual diversion."
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Unread 2017-04-08, 09:06 PM   #102
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Unread 2017-04-10, 10:19 AM   #103
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Check Out Some New International GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 2 Posters And The Latest BTS Pics

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is almost upon us, and the promotion keeps on rolling out with this latest batch of international character posters. Check 'em out after the jump...




We're all still in God of Thunder-mode after that excellent Thor: Ragnarok trailer - but let's not forget we have a new Guardians of the Galaxy movie to prepare for first!

This latest batch of international posters double-up on the main characters, placing Drax with Mantis, Yondu with Nebula, Star-Lord with Gamora, and finally, Rocket with Baby Groot.
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Plus, we have the latest behind-the-scenes pics from director James Gunn, which include a special birthday shout-out to Michael Rooker, an early make-up/costume test for Karen Gillan, and a look at Stephen Blackehart as an alien character named Brahl.







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Unread 2017-04-11, 12:56 PM   #104
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Nebula's Relationship With Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. Main Villain Revealed


When fans last saw Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy, the character was not doing so great. Having chopped her hand off, Thanos’ adopted daughter was quick to flee the impending battle Ronan was stirring up. When fans meet up with the character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, audiences will learn what all the character has been up to. And, apparently, it’s not been anything too pleasant.
During a set visit, ComicBook.com had a chance to speak with Karen Gillan about her role and where Nebula finds herself in the sequel. It was there that the actress opened up about her character’s relationship to the movie’s main baddie, and she stressed its not a good one.
Having been captured by the film’s antagonist, Nebula wants nothing more than to escape her captors oversight.
“Well, that's her main objective throughout the entire film,” Gillan explained. “She obviously takes many paths to sort of get there in any way she can, but she is being held captive. So she's there against her will, which is just a funny dynamic, because she's like, ‘Oh for goodness sake.’
Continuing, Gillan went on to explain why Nebula puts up with her containment for so long. “She doesn't really want to be there, but she does because she needs to sort out these things with her sister.”
Of course, being held captive is a great way for the film’s creators to establish Nebula as a more sympathetic character. Over the past few months, Gillan has said the former antagonist would have a change of heart and show a different side of herself.
“What I love about the second movie for Nebula in particular is that we get — We know that she’s a pretty angry woman with some daddy issues. [But] in the second movie, we’re going to start to see how much pain her father actually caused her, and we’re going to delve right into the relationship with her sister Gamora,” the actress told TheWrap in January.
So, hopefully, the Guardians will create a plan to get Nebula free from her new captor. And, when they do, Gamora might want to make sure Drax doesn’t just slice and dice Nebula to bits.
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.
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Unread 2017-04-17, 07:04 PM   #105
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SPOILERS: Sylvester Stallone's Role In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Has Been Revealed

An official cast list for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has been revealed along with character descriptions which finally reveal which comic book character Sylvester Stallone is playing...





With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press screenings taking place tonight, the production notes for the movie have found their way online. Mostly made up of generic interviews, they don't reveal a lot, but there are two fairly major revelations (just be warned that potential spoilers follow from here).

Firstly, it sounds like we can expect some flashbacks to Star-Lord's conception as Laura Haddock will be reprising the role of Meredith Quill in the sequel. However, the bigger reveal is that Sylvester Stallone is going to be playing Stakar, a character you'll probably best know as Starhawk. He has a history with both the Ravagers and Guardians in the comic books, so it makes sense that he'll be showing up here.

Who Michael Rosenbaum is playing isn't clear, but it's possible he could be Quasar based on Starhawk's history. We'll just have to wait and see, but here are some fresh details on who Stakar is in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It definitely sounds like he'll factor into the story in a very interesting way.

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Unread 2017-04-19, 10:45 AM   #106
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Guardians Of The Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 2 Track List Revealed


Marvel Comics has revealed the full track list from "Awesome Mix, Vol. 2," the licensed soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. The songs included on "Awesome Mix, Vol. 2" are:
  1. "Mr. Blue Sky" - Electric Light Ochestra
  2. "Fox on the Run" - Sweet
  3. "Lake Shore Drive" - Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
  4. "The Chain" - Fleetwood Mac
  5. "Bring It On Home To Me" - Sam Cooke
  6. "Southern Nights" - Glen Campbell
  7. "My Sweet Lord" - George Harrison
  8. "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl" - Looking Glass
  9. "Come A Little Bit Closer" - Jay and the Americans
  10. "Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang" - Silver
  11. "Surrender" - Cheap Trick
  12. "Father and Son" - Cat Stevens
  13. "Flash Light" -Parliament
  14. "Guardians Inferno" - The Sheepers featuring David Hasselhoff
"Awesome Mix, Vol. 2" will be available to download on April 21, 2017.
The music of the original Guardians of the Galaxy featured on the original "Awesome Mix," proved to be practically as big of a hit as the movie itself. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 topped the Billboard 200 chart, becoming the first entirely licensed soundtrack ever to accomplish that feat. Guadians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 become the second-best selling soundtrack in the united states, behind Frozen, and went on to become certified platinum by the RIAA. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 sold more than 1 million total copies in the United States and 2.5 million copies worldwide.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 currently has a 4.23 out of 5 ComicBook.com user anticipation rating, making it the third most anticipated upcoming comic book movie among ComicBook.com readers. Let us know how excited you are for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by giving it your own ComicBook.com User Anticipation Rating below.
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.
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Unread 2017-04-19, 03:49 PM   #107
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Kurt Russell Explains How James Gunn Pitched Ego The Living Planet Role For Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2


If you thought James Gunn approached Kurt Russell and simply said, "Hey, man, I want you to play a live planet in my next movie," and the iconic actor jumped into the role for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2... Well... You're almost right!
Russell, an actor who has played huge roles throughout his impressive career, has never taken on anything to the scale of one of Marvel Comics' most powerful entities. The idea of playing a literal living planet quickly enticed the actor after he was approached by Gunn, though.
During a press event for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 over the weekend, Russell explained to ComicBook.com how Gunn approached him for the part and why he was so interested in it. The biggest selling point from Gunn came from "showing me the first movie," Russell said.

Then came the script for the sequel.
"Realizing that a lot of Peter Quill's behavior, it makes sense when you think about some of the things that I did," Russell said. "He didn't have to pitch that. He let me read it and I go, 'Well, I got it, I understand.' I really love the opportunity to play Ego the Living Planet. There's no parameters there."
Russell also sees the positive effect his role might have on people outside of the movie, as well, given the relationship between Peter and his father is something many people deal with in the real world.
"I supposed part of it was because I've seen in my life children whose father wasn't there," Russell said. "Parents who something horrible happened and they wondered what they were like. And in both cases, as human beings do, they built up an imaginary person in their mind. The idea of finally getting a chance to come together, gives you the reality to deal with."
As for the scenes which will see Ego in planet form, Russell performed a bit of motion capture and had several facial scans to nail the computerized look. "They put you in the machine and, you know..." Russell said. "With Ego, it's whatever James wanted to do with him. Some of them were my suggestions and I'm glad that they were able to do some of them."
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Unread 2017-04-19, 06:39 PM   #108
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Unread 2017-04-20, 11:49 AM   #109
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Unread 2017-04-20, 03:55 PM   #110
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Was Originally Going To Feature Adam Warlock; Will Now Likely Debut In VOL. 3

It's been confirmed that Adam Warlock was the character James Gunn regrettably had to cut from the GOTG Vol. 2 script, but from the sounds of things he will play a role in the third installment...





Some time ago, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn made reference to a character that was originally part of the sequel's screenplay, but that he was forced to remove when he realized he was already juggling too many A-holes.

At the time, many fans guessed that it might have been Adam Warlock, and Gunn has now confirmed that it was indeed "Him" during an interview with /Film.
“I love Adam Warlock. He’s one of my favorite characters. In all truth, I wrote an early treatment where I had Adam Warlock as a part…this is your big scoop, because I don’t think I’ve told anybody this… It was Adam Warlock. He was a big part of the screenplay and I realized it was one character too many.

And I adored the character. I adored what we had done with him. I think we did something really creative and unique with Adam Warlock. But it was one character too many and I didn’t want to lose Mantis and Mantis was more organically part of the movie anyway. So I decided to save him for later.”
In a separate interview, Kevin Feige revealed that Gunn is indeed developing Warlock to be a major player in The MCU further down the line - but that he will not be a part of Avengers: Infinity War. Though this isn't 100% confirmation that the genetically engineered warrior will make his big-screen debut in the recently announced Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it does seem like a fairly safe assumption considering Feige also said, “If he appears anywhere in the future, it’ll be in Guardians.”
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Unread 2017-04-20, 07:35 PM   #111
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Several Major Cameos Were Just Confirmed For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The Guardians of the Galaxy. Image: Disney
If possible, you should go into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as clean as possible. There are a lot of huge surprises. However, now that the film is screening and the cast is doing interviews, spoilers are starting to leak—including some major ones at today’s press conference.

If you plan on seeing Guardians in the theaters, you should stop reading here. Trust us. But for you spoiler fans, here goes.


Near the end of the movie, new characters played by Ving Rhames and Michelle Yeoh appear. The credits (as well as James Gunn at the press conference) confirm they play Charlie-27 and Aleta Ogord, two ravager leaders in the film. Exactly why they appear is STILL too big of a spoiler to share, but in one of the five end-credits scenes, they meet up with Stakar, played by Sylvester Stallone, and two other aliens: Krugar and Mainframe. The five characters vow to get back together and steal some shit.



Guardians of the Galaxy #1 cover art by Jim Valentino.
Yes, this is an on-screen reunion, with a few tweaks, of some of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team members. Stakar (a.k.a. Starhawk) Charlie-27, and Starhawk’s wife Aleta were all characters who, alongside Yondu, Major Vance Astro, Martinex, and Nikki Gold, formed the basis of the original Guardians team in the comics. Unlike the later team brought together in Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s 2008 Guardians book and popularized by James Gunn’s first movie, the original team operated in the 31st century and had little in the way of major connections with the “modern” team.






I spoke with Kevin Feige about the characters at today’s press junket, and he said he expects them to play some role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3:
You will not see [Charlie-27 and Aleta] until [Guardians] 3 at the earliest. One of the original ideas was, James [Gunn] was fleshing out the character of Yondu... and having the fun of tipping our hat to the original Guardians team. [It] just gives James another set of tools to play with as he’s piecing together future stories.
When asked about possibly coming back for another film, Stallone played coy, joking that in Hollywood nothing is certain. He then let it slip that he’d begun to read more Guardians comics and when asked why, he said, “I’m optimistic.”
We’ll have more on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soon.
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Unread 2017-04-20, 11:20 PM   #112
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New GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 2 Hi-Res Stills Provide Some Lovely New Shots Of The Team

Following their awesome cover reveal earlier on today, EW has debuted a batch of brand new hi-res images from James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Click on for fresh looks at the team.





As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's release date draws near, the extensive coverage of James Gunn's terrific sequel continues with some new hi-res stills courtesy of EW.

There's an awesome new shot of the full team together, a stunning pic of Gamora on Ego's home planet, yet another adorable image of Baby Groot, the villainous Taser-Face (LOL), and more.

On a related note, spoilers for GOTG Vol. 2 have now begun to leak and are being shared by certain other sites. We will be breaking down the various post-credits scenes and character cameos etc once at least some people have had a chance to see the movie, but in the meantime, be careful when navigating the net and please don't post spoilers in the comments section.












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.
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Unread 2017-04-23, 03:00 PM   #113
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Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2: New Taserface Details Revealed




For a relatively unknown character, Taserface has captured the imagination of many fans looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Now, actor Chris Sullivan is provided some new insights into who exactly Taserface is.
Sullivan is best known as one of the stars of NBC’s hit drama This Is Us, and he says Taserface couldn’t be a more different role for him to play.
“Talk about a swing in character type,” Sullivan tells Entertainment Weekly. "Taserface is an intergalactic space pirate, who is in the service of Yondu, and a member of the Ravagers.
“Taserface is loud,” Sullivan continues. “Taserface is the defensive lineman on your high school football team. He’s a very loud individual who enjoys pushing people around.”

This Is Us fans likely won’t even be able to recognize Sullivan as playing Taserface requires a heavy amount of makeup and prosthetics.
“The makeup process started off at about three-and-a-half hours and we whittled it down to about two-and-a-half, as the makeup team got more and more practiced at it,” Sulivan explains. “It was quite involved. But every morning, bright and early, I shared a makeup trailer with Michael Rooker. So, it was he and I sitting next to each other, getting ready for work, and sharing stories of our lives! Michael Rooker is like the Merle Haggard of the acting world. Never a dull moment. Never a dull story. I’ve been a huge fan of his since Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. I don’t think there’s anyone like him. I think he’s singular. I would pay money to sit next to him and get into makeup. Don’t tell Marvel that!”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2currently has a 4.24 out of 5 ComicBook.com user anticipation rating, making it the third most anticipated upcoming comic book movie among ComicBook.com readers. Let us know how excited you are for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by giving it your own ComicBook.com User Anticipation Rating below.
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.
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Unread 2017-04-24, 10:35 AM   #114
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 2 Review Roundup: Find Out What The Critics Thought Of James Gunn's Sequel

The reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are in, and the general critical consensus seems to be that James Gunn has delivered a very good follow-up that doesn't quite match up to the first.





We shared our review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 earlier on, and now you get to find out how the rest of the internet felt about the Marvel sequel.

For the most part, critics enjoyed the movie quite a bit - but the general consensus definitely seems to be that James Gunn failed to recapture a lot of the magic of the first. In fact, a handful of reviews actually lean towards the negative, citing clumsy plotting and an over-reliance on humor as the main issues. That said, there is pretty much universal praise for the cast and the film's emotional core.





Check out some excerpts below along with a few video reviews (including one from our own Mr. Sunday Movies), and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section. You can keep an eye on the movie's RT score, here.

Empire:
Even when the pixels threaten to overwhelm, Gunn finds refuge in his main characters. There’s plenty to enjoy here, whether it’s the perfectly deployed Baby Groot moments, or a general strain of anarchic weirdness that runs all the way through the credits and which still feels unique to this franchise, not just within the MCU, but blockbusters in general.
Radio Times:
Overall, there’s more visual creativity in this film than in any of Marvel’s recent efforts (even including the mind-bending world of Doctor Strange), combined with a compelling story that contains some genuinely gasp-inducing twists, bucketloads of exciting cameos and an effective villain that becomes creepier the more time you spend with them.
EW:
It's still a good Marvel movie (at times, a very good one), but it's a come down from the dizzying highs of the first installment. The laughs are still there, but they're less involuntary.
Total Film:
This sequel turns up the volume on the action and spectacle for a fun and frequently thrilling ride, but can't help but feel like a disappointment in comparison to its predecessor.
We Live Entertainment:
Even the things people liked about the first movie get exaggerated until it's not cute anymore. Since everyone loved the blacklight joke, there are now constant sex jokes. Everyone loved Baby Groot in one scene, so now he's in the whole movie.
IGN:
The second film is far denser and has a few more pacing and story problems than the first. Still, it's a very good movie with one of the most emotionally impactful endings of any Marvel Cinematic Universe story yet.
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Unread 2017-04-25, 10:03 AM   #115
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Sylvester Stallone Says He Joined GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 For His Fascination With Mythology

Sylvester Stallone's role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has been a closely guarded secret, and though he doesn't reveal who he's playing, the actor has discussed why he joined the Marvel sequel.




The inclusion of action icon Sylvester Stallone in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has been the subject of a lot of speculation in recent months, with the actor's role in the film being shrouded in secrecy. While his role in the film has recently been confirmed (don't worry, we won't spoil it here), Stallone was tight-lipped about it during a press conference for the film last week. However, the actor did elaborate on what attracted him to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the first place.

"It was interesting because I love [Marvel] films, but I haven’t ventured into the genre, so it was quite an experience. When I walked on the set, [I saw] robots and things, a woman who was seven feet tall, and everything else. I thought, ‘This is great. This is a great vacation. It’s better than being up a tree in Burma,’ you know what I mean?”
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Stallone continued on to say that the "mythology" of superheroes is what he found fascinating, particularly when it comes to filmgoers and how they've embraced the genre. “Early on in my career I became fascinated with mythology. Joseph Campbell’s 'Hero with a Thousand Faces,' and so on and so forth. When I started doing Rambo, [I came to understand] there’s an evolution that takes place. Every generation has to find itself, define its own heroes, define its own mythology. And [the MCU] is this generation’s – and maybe even the next generation’s – mythology. And when Kevin [Feige] invited me on board I said, ‘This is interesting because I haven’t gone here. I’m kind of Earth-bound. I’m terrestrial. This is something that takes place in a whole other sphere where James and the Marvel people have created their own world, their own reality. So I said, ‘Yeah, let me visit. Let me drop in here and see what’s up, where the future is going.’ And it was great. It got me out of the house [away] from my three daughters. And that’s why I gave them my salary back.”
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Unread 2017-04-25, 12:54 PM   #116
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Unread 2017-04-25, 01:20 PM   #117
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10 Things We Learned at the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Press Junket


Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the press junket for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in West Hollywood. Peter Sciretta and I will be publishing individual interviews with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, writer/director James Gunn,and actors Chris Prattand Kurt Russell here on the site in the days leading up to the film’s release next week. In the meantime, I collected ten pieces of info we gleaned at the junket’s two press conferences, which featured key members of the creative team and nearly every major member of the movie’s cast.
In addition to the folks mentioned above, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillain, Sean Gunn, and Sylvester Stallone were all in attendance. Read on to discover what we learned from the spirited group interviews.


1. James Gunn and Kevin Feige Disagreed About One Aspect of the Film

It sounds like Gunn and Feige have a pretty solid working relationship (Gunn is one of the only directors to return to direct a third Marvel feature so far), but there was one mysterious aspect of Vol. 2 that they butted heads about.
Gunn: There’s one thing in the movie that I won’t bring up – in part because I may be wrong and Kevin was right, and in part because I don’t want to embarrass Kevin if I’m right – but there was one thing in the movie we disagreed on. Only one thing in the whole movie, and Kevin let me have my way. And I appreciate it.
Feige: Good luck guessing what it is.
Gunn: It’s a very small thing. They’ll never guess what it is.
Feige: They’re going to think it’s some big arc. It’s the smallest thing.
Gunn: Yeah, it’s a moment in the movie. Besides that, we never disagreed.
Attempting to pinpoint what that moment might be would result in me spoiling something for you, so I’ll leave the guessing game for you to hash out in the comments once you’ve seen the movie.

2. Gunn Studied Sequels to See Why They Often Fail

When asked if there was one specific thing he didn’t want to mess up when returning for this sequel, Gunn jokingly replied, “The movie!” Explaining his goals for the film, he spoke about how he didn’t want to fall prey to the tempting formula many sequels often rely on:
I wanted to continue the film from the first movie. So many sequels are not good, and the primary reason in studying them seemed to be that so many of them just kind of do the same thing the first movie did, with a different template. So they say, ‘Oh, people like the dance off from the first movie, so what’s our version of the dance off? People like we are Groot from the first movie, so what’s our version of we are Groot?’ Instead of doing that, we really tried to let these characters grow and change. We want to watch them become new people and different people in every film that we come up with. And I think allowing them to be themselves and do their thing – I know that sounds strange because I’m writing what they say, but sometimes I’m just letting it happen inside my own imagination and letting the characters go where they wanted to go. I think the thing I didn’t want to mess up was trying to be a rehash of the first movie. I think people were surprised by the first movie. People have been surprised by the second film. [We wanted] to give people something new and something different from what they already had.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, but looking back on this moment, it’s a good thing there were so many cast members there that they had to split it into two press conferences. Gunn was on one panel, and Sylvester Stallone (who plays Stakar) was on another; if they’d been on the same panel, Stallone may have taken offense to Gunn’s comments because Stallone’s work on the Rocky franchise is one of the preeminent examples of the type of formulaic filmmaking Gunn railed against.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Rocky movies. But the first three sequels, which Stallone wrote and directed, clearly follow an obvious formula.

3. Yes, the Cast Geeked Out Meeting Kurt Russell

Escape from New York, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Tombstone…Kurt Russell is legendary. So of course the cast geeked out when they met him for the first time. Pratt explained how they managed to get over the mental hump of working alongside a cinematic icon:
You promise yourself you’re not going to do this thing that happens every time you meet someone who’s an icon, someone you’ve known way longer than they’ve ever known you, and you’ve seen all their stuff. You have this opportunity from time to time, if you’re lucky, to work with someone like a Kurt Russell. You promise yourself you’re not going to do the thing where you geek out. But it’s a little inauthentic if you don’t. Because if you just go in there and you’re like, ‘Oh, what is it? Kurt? Hey. Nice to meet you. Chris,’ and I don’t acknowledge the fact that how much I love him and what a fan I am, if you don’t get that out of the way, then it feels a little inauthentic. So I think I did that immediately.
It doesn’t really take that long for you to tell someone that you really love them, that you really respect their work, and for them to go, ‘Yeah, thanks.’ And that’s it! At that point you move forward and there’s this really cool thing, that’s probably the one thing I never would have imagined looking for when I first moved to Hollywood, but the greatest part of it, the biggest secret, is you become somebody’s friend and somebody’s peer, rather than a fan. And that’s really nice. I think Kurt and I have become friends. We connected on a lot of things outside of just the movie. And I have his cell phone number, and I’ll give it to each and every one of you.

4. There Was a Statue of Baby Groot on Set

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes place a few months after the events of the first movie, which ended with Groot sacrificing himself for his friends and slowly regenerating as a tiny twig. Groot is more mobile now, but he’s tiny, and Gunn explained what it was like on set working with what would eventually become a completely digital character:
We had a statue of little Groot. So we had a nice maquette made. He was designed beforehand and we had him around. There were great times on set, when we’d have this adorable little statue standing there, and we’d have a scene and all this stuff would be going on, and these guys would be acting their butts off and really putting their hearts and souls into it. And Chris would look over at that little guy and go, ‘Damn it, he’s going to steal the whole thing!’ And I’d be like, ‘Let’s get a shot over here because I think Groot’s going to be trying to get a bug while this scene is happening.’ And he’s like, ‘Really? Groot’s going to be trying to get a bug while I’m crying about my father? You’re a dick!’

5. Sean Gunn Plays Two Roles in the Movie

Sean Gunn, James’s brother, reprises his role as a Ravager named Kraglin in this film and has a much beefier part this time around. He’s great in the movie, but fans might never see some of his best work: that’s because he stands in as Rocket Raccoon on set and serves as a visual aid for the animators. Sean explained what it was like playing two characters in the same film, and sometimes even in the same scene:
Sean Gunn: It’s interesting. I play two roles in the movie. When you act there’s both the input and the output. The input is the work you put into it, the work you do on set, and the output is what you see on screen. For me, the input is very similar for both characters, but the output is totally different because it takes a whole team of people to make Rocket, and I’m just a member of that team. It’s interesting in this movie because Rocket and Kraglin have a few scenes that they’re in together. So juggling the two things was a very strange and challenging experience for me, but I love it. I love both characters and I’m really grateful to be a part of it.
Zoe Saldana: I don’t think that people really understand that what Sean does just for the movie – the references, the intonation. He’s so limber as well, so he manages to shrink and curl up and be this big, so he’s always Rocket-sized. And he gives us all the passion and all the dynamic that we need to have from Rocket because Rocket is the sassiest character of the Guardians. I don’t think we would be able to respond to Rocket…the same way if Sean wasn’t playing him. And I know that Sean serves as the perfect reference for Bradley [Cooper]. Because I know for a fact that whatever you leave there behind for Bradley, it’s just what he needs to catch up on everything he’s missed when we’ve spent those four months shooting. James Gunn and I were talking about that last night. The voice of Rocket in this second movie, it’s not that it’s improved because it was wonderful in the beginning because you leave it there for everybody to pick up. I’m not saying that Bradley picks it up, but Bradley really has the perfect reference and then he paves over it as an actor and adds his nuances and everything. Still, Rocket is really composed of two very important people, and Sean is the “mainest” ingredient, and I just made that word up.
Kevin Feige: It’s not just for Bradley, it’s for the animators who are putting Rocket together. I can’t tell you how many times in visual effects reviews, James will say, ‘Go back to the plate,’ which means the original portion of photography with Sean, to get even little mannerisms in his eyes and his mouth. I’m happy to talk about how great Sean Gunn is all day long. And in this movie, Kraglin obviously does a lot more, and there are a few moments when Kraglin brings the emotion and really puts it over the top for me as I watch it. Although nobody else on this couch is allowed to talk about it, Rocket has encountered other Marvel characters, and I will tell you, all the actors have had an amazing time with Sean as he brings Rocket to life and they get to start acting off him. It’s really impressive.



6. Nebula and Gamora’s Relationship is a Highlight

In the new movie, we learn a lot more about the relationship between Gamora and Nebula — specifically, why Nebula is so pissed off at Gamora all the time. Deepening that relationship is one of the film’s strongest subplots, and as you might expect, there was a considerable amount of discussion devoted to the strong female characters on the panel:
Feige: There are lots and lots of great female characters in the comics that we want to bring to life on screen, and it was very important to James to include these characters – and more than just include them, but give them their own storyline and have it be more than just their ability to fight or romance with a male character. That’s why I think Nebula and Gamora are a high point of the movie, and that relationship is one of the biggest and best arcs in the whole movie, that sister relationship.
Saldana: I think what I loved the most, and it may sound selfish, but, definitely the relationship between Gamora and Nebula. I’m one of three sisters. I’ve been itching and yearning to see more of a female presence in action films, because I love action films and I’m not that deep. I love watching The Equalizer and I’ll watch that 50 times over any kind of dramatic piece. So to have a film with three female characters that are adding such unique qualities to the film and they are very relevant and their relationships are explored deeply, I was appreciative and super excited.
Karen Gillan: Zoe literally teaches me how to fight while we’re doing it. She’ll be like, ‘Turn your head like that, straddle someone like that, and you’re going to look cool.’ And I’m like, ‘Yes! Thank you!’

7. Zoe Saldana Wants to Star in a Dune Movie

At one point during the junket, Saldana mentioned that she’s been a part of three different major sci-fi film franchises. When asked if there was another she’d like to join, she thought for a second and said:
Dune. I was Lady Jessica every other Halloween. When I wasn’t a Bene Gesserit, I was a ninja. So I would love to be in Dune. And I heard that Denis Villeneuve is thinking about revisiting it, and I hope he decides to do it. I am one of those people that [thinks] David Lynch did a great job, but I was six when I saw Dune. (laughs) It would be Dune.
Mr. Villeneuve, it sounds like you know who to get on the line when casting begins.

8. Gunn Plays the Film’s Music on the Set

Music is obviously a key part of the Guardians movies, and some of you may already know that Gunn chooses the songs for the soundtrack before filming begins and actually has the actors listen to them while they’re acting on set. Kevin Feige elaborated on that:
He does that not just with songs, but also with Tyler Bates’ score. So a year before we started filming, James was sharing the story and the script with Tyler Bates, and Tyler starts writing the score suites. There were a couple of really moving pieces in the movie that he did before so he could play it on set, which, no other film that I am a part of does that.
Gunn himself took to Facebook on Friday night to share more about the topic.

9. Kurt Russell’s Makeup Guy Deserves a Raise

For this one, I’m going to have to spoil a tiny aspect of the film that you literally see in the first shot. It’s not a big deal, but if you’re looking to go into the movie completely fresh, maybe just move to the final entry on the list.
Last warning: minor spoilers ahead.
Everyone knows Kurt Russell’s Ego is Peter Quill’s father, but this film opens with a flashback of a digitally de-aged Russell hanging out with Quill’s mother. To my eye, the effect was slightly more impressive than Marvel’s previous attempts to pull off the same kind of thing with Tony Stark in Civil War and Hank Pym in Ant-Man, and to hear Russell tell it, a big reason for that is because of his personal makeup guy.
Dennis Liddiard’s been my makeup man for 28 movies. Before we went in there, we assumed it was going to be all CGI. He said to James and the photographer, ‘Hey, I can young this guy down. I’ve got some tricks in my bad. Would that be helpful?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, as much as you can, that’d be great.’ I was speaking to the gal last night who does the CGI, and she said, ‘What do you think about what we did?’ And I said, ‘I thought it was great, but I understand you didn’t do a whole lot.’ And she said, ‘No, we didn’t. We touched it up here and there, but he did a fantastic job.’ He does have a lot of tricks, not just cosmetics. There’s a lot that goes into that, actually. It’s not just what you think. Without giving away things, because I hate giving away tricks, you have to create an impression, not an image. There’s stuff that goes into that. You want him to look certain places but not look other places. And then when you’ve got the help of modern-day abilities with technology, I think it’s a much more natural look.

10. Dave Bautista Lost His Voice Doing Drax’s Laugh

In Vol. 2, Bautista’s Drax moves from a damaged, vengeful literalist to pure comic relief. It’s a significant shift for the character, and wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista was totally up for the challenge. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen the movie loves Drax in it. As you’ve seen in the trailers, Drax’s huge laugh factors into the movie a couple of times, and when asked if his real laugh sounds anything like Drax’s, Bautista revealed that he actually laughed so loud on set that he lost his voice.
It’s nothing like [mine] at all. Everybody knows that I’m a very understated person. I’m a little soft-spoken. But James is very big on Drax being larger than life and projecting, he’s constantly telling me to project…the laugh came about just as a complete accident. I was laughing, and he said, ‘Can you do it louder?’ and the louder I started laughing, the louder I could hear him laughing. He was doing it to amuse himself and he just wanted the bigger, louder laugh, so I just kept getting it bigger and bigger until I lost my voice.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters this Friday, May 5, 2017.


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Unread 2017-04-26, 08:08 AM   #118
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 Is Set After INFINITY WAR; VOL 2. Will Have Another Secret Easter Egg

After recent comments, some fans speculated the third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy could take place prior to Avengers: Infinity War, something director James Gunn has now refuted.





Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed yesterday that there will be a four year gap between the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War. While it's certainly a long interval for the spacefaring misfits, it makes sense considering that Vol. 2 picks up a month or so after the 2014 events of the first film, and Infinity War will be set (more or less) in 2018.

Given the stretch of time, it led some fans to speculate that the now-confirmed sequel, Vol 3., may be set somewhere in that four year gap. However, James Gunn seemingly assured in an interview with The Independent that the third installment would be taking place after Infinity War's events; since Gunn is acting as an executive producer for the Avengers epic, he's been on set and heavily involved with the development of the Guardians.

"I’m not totally letting go of the Guardians, I’m still hanging onto them a little as they go through [Infinity War]," Gunn said. "I am with the guys, I’m talking to the Russo Brothers, I’m talking to the cast, I’m dealing with all sorts of stuff so we can have the characters remain true to themselves and they end up where they need to be for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

Additionally, Gunn also confirmed that Vol. 2 will follow suit with its predecessor by having another super secret, almost-impossible-to-find Easter Egg for fans. Gunn has been quizzed many times over whether or not the first film's mystery had been discovered, and while the director still wouldn't reveal what it is, he verified that fans have come very close. "I am not going to [reveal anything], but people have gotten very close. So, I don’t think it will be very long until it comes out."
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Unread 2017-04-26, 11:21 AM   #119
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Review: 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' Isn't What You Expect







I write about films, especially superhero films, & Hollywood.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.




Marvel Studios took $1.8 billion last year, $1.9 billion in 2015, $1.4 billion in 2014, and $1.8 billion in 2013 -- the four years of their post-Avengers reign atop the superhero film genre. That 2012 milestone was worth $1.5 billion, and only once (in 2014) in the past five years has Marvel fallen below that annual box office bar. This year, Marvel kicks off their offerings with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a film that guarantees 2017 will live up to the >$1.5 billion standard, and could in fact be the first time the studio tops the $2 billion marker at the box office. But that will all depend on how high the Guardians fly this time around, which in turn obviously will depend on just how good the superhero sci-fi sequel really is.
Source: Marvel Studios

Poster for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



The first Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters in 2014 (that infamous sub-$1.4 billion, I say with a sarcastic grin), a seemingly off the wall comic book brand far afield of the rest of the MCU, without a major A-list star's face front and center in the main cast, from a director with no prior mainstream hits or name recognition among the public at large. Despite all of that, however, and plenty of naysayers who doubted the film could hope to perform at the level of other superhero franchises, it turns out a sci-fi action-adventure with a good sense of humor, great soundtrack, and classically appealing storytelling beats happens to be a glaringly obvious recipe for success. In this case, success to the tune of $773 million worldwide.
So when we talk about 2014 as the only year during the last five years that Marvel didn't crack $1.5 billion, remember it was a year with a Captain America sequel (i.e. a follow-up to the second-lowest grossing movie of the entire MCU) and a new franchise (Guardians) lacking a major star lead/well-known director/and so on. Both of those films, which weren't anticipated to be mega-hits in the genre (at least nowhere near as big as they turned out), proved audiences trusted the Marvel brand and loved what Marvel had to offer. The next Captain America movie, Civil War, topped $1 billion last year. This year, we'll see if the second Guardians of the Galaxy entry can do likewise.




I've written elsewhere today about the details of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's box office potential, including breakdowns of the best-case and worst-case scenarios. I won't repeat all of the nuances here, but the basics are this: Guardians Vol. 2 is headed toward what all data indicates will be a domestic opening in the $150 million range, so a multiplier in the vicinity of 3x and a foreign/domestic revenue split in 55%/45% territory means the film appears likely to finish somewhere north of $900 million worldwide, with a shot at breaking $1 billion. It's already rolling out in theaters overseas this week, and the marketing blitz is kicking into overdrive as we head into the final week before Guardians Vol. 2 takes over North American cineplexes.
Source: Marvel Studios

Rocket, Yondu, and Baby Groot take a stroll with a body toll in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



With positive reviews and the single best audience scores for any MCU property to date -- a literally perfect 100% rating -- Guardians Vol. 2 looks likely to enjoy strong positive buzz and good word of mouth from viewers, which will inevitably boost its prospects at the box office.
You can go read my article with the full financial breakdown if you want all of the numbers, but my own guess is that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will wind up with around $950+/- million in its pockets by the end of its run. We'll be better able to guesstimate once we've seen the figures from this weeks' international launch, and then an even clearer picture after the domestic opening receipts are tallied up. So I'll be back to talk about where it's headed and make a more accurate prediction at that time. For now, let's get to my full review, and why that terrific audience word of mouth is well-deserved.
The short version is, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a grand and worthy sequel that packs an emotional wallop and brilliant visuals. Gunn hits another home run, and if it's a hit then it will prove audiences are ready to embrace even more wild, unexpected concepts from the farthest corners of comic book lore. After this, it should be obvious nothing needs to be off the table for consideration when it comes to what comics, characters, and stories can be adapted to film. Why? Let's get to it, then...
Source: Marvel Studios

Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, blasts away in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is at once a more deeply personal, condensed story that also goes more cosmic and outlandish in its ambitions. The first film explored character through introductions within a plot-driven story transpiring in a wide variety of locales. This new film explores character through the evolution of their relationships and reversals of expectations with one another, in a character-driven story that mostly takes place in two main locations.
Buried character motives are pulled slowly, painfully to the surface, overshadowing and supplanting previously revealed motives that disguised far more complex truths these characters hid from everyone, including themselves. These aren't reversals driven by plot necessity, nor are they changes that seem contrary to what's come before and untrue to who these characters really are. Rather, they are fully formed people within whom many truths and sides reside, and each new reveal has its roots in what came before, making it clear what we're seeing now was inevitable. Maybe even predictable, if we'd taken time to think longer about them and the implications of their past deeds.
We talk about Guardians as unique in the MCU, which is true on many levels. However, it's important to also pay attention to what all of the Marvel characters and relationships tend to have in common -- they are usually people who feel self-conscious about their place in the world, whose differences from other people make them feel isolated and as if they don't always fit in, and their relationships to one another are often contentious and ever-changing as new revelations arise. Marvel Comics have always been famous for favoring flawed characters and treating their relationships as a source of conflict in their personal and professional careers. They fight one another almost as often as they fight villains, yet also have an underlying sense of familial love and loyalty.
Source: Marvel Studios

Gamora decides her thing is swords after all, in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



The Guardians films fully reflect those elements of Marvel storytelling, and it helps maintain that tonal connective tissue between this series and the rest of the MCU. Indeed, Guardians is perhaps the most overt manifestation of those traits and subtexts, and makes the greatest use of them with stories that depend on the way those relationships change and affect one another over time, leaving everyone in a different place within themselves and the world around them by the end of each story.
It is with Vol. 2 that this truth becomes most obvious about the franchise, and about director James Gunn's talents for grasping what we all love about the MCU -- particularly about these Guardians characters themselves. Because Gunn knows a secret that is so obvious, and yet so often missed by other storytellers -- we relate to these self-conscious, flawed, oft-lonely, bickering people because they are us. It's never the "super" part of the superheroes that matters most, it's their inner humanity and their vulnerabilities that define what we relate to. That's why we feel inspired by them -- not because they lack vulnerabilities, but because they have them and often even fall prey to them, because they teach us we can overcome our flaws and transcend our own selves for something greater.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is all about family, about how everyone -- even a god -- seeks to overcome loneliness and find a sense of purpose in their lives, to connect with someone and share a common experience that helps us transcend who and what we are. Those people whom we find and share ourselves with, draw strength from, and learn to be comfortable with who we are (and who they are), are our family. Sometimes they are of our blood, and sometimes they aren't. Sometimes we fight with them, sometimes we drive one another crazy, but in the end we stand together because we know that together we are more than the sum of our parts.
Source: Marvel Studios

Nebula thinks the moment is ripe to strike in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



There's still plenty of adventurism and hilarity to be found in Vol. 2. Epic fight sequences, outer space chases and firefights, plenty of hand-to-hand combat, and even an epic prison break sequence that in and of itself is worth the price of admission. All of the elements you adored in the first film are present, and managed in a way that is familiar enough to retain its appeal while being different enough to avoid feeling like a rehash. What makes Guardians Vol. 2 so special, though, is that it is full of so much we recognize, and yet it's defined by what makes it so unique and unlike anything else we've seen in the genre before. It's everything you want, but not what you expect.
The film takes place in a more limited number of locations, and with a more limited number of characters, than the first film. While the Peter-Gamora relationship remains in place, the rest of the characters experience connections and arcs bringing them closer to other characters you wouldn't expect, even though the reasons are like a revelation of things we've been watching all along without grasping their significance and how they tie together. Again, this film is driven by the personal, it is an exercise in relationship building and conflict resolution. Even when the action spectacle kicks in -- and it does in glorious, brilliant fashion many times during the course of the story -- it is typically transpiring amid conflict of a more personal and decidely familial nature. These battles are almost all extremely personal in nature, and the stakes are high precisely because they are not just life-or-death, but also redefining relationships from the ground up -- or dismantling them from the top down.
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel are all better than ever, which seems impossible in light of how pitch-perfect they felt in the first go-around. Karen Gillan and Michael Rooker steal scene after scene with layered performances full of more sentiment and insight than expected. It's interesting that, while Quill's is the primary narrative through the story, the real backbone to it all is the combination of Nebula's and Yondu's arcs.
Source: Marvel Studios

Mantis joins the team in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



The cast dropped into the first film as if they've lived their lives as these characters, but that familiarity and comfort goes deeper in the sequel, enough so that they let their nastier sides out without always having the safety net of humor to lighten the impact. Once more the term "vulnerability" comes to mind, because showing your worst qualities -- or, as is often the case for certain characters, letting your guard down to risk being humane and humble despite your reputation to the contrary -- is dangerous in the wrong company. Family, though, are all about seeing one another at their worst as well as at their best, and knowing we can show those sides of ourselves because our family's love is unconditional and we can earn forgiveness and grant it to them in return.
By which I mean the cast are in top form, appearing to have an even better time than they had making the first movie and connecting on far deeper emotional levels. Guardians has among the greatest ensemble casts of any modern franchise, and Gunn keeps adding new faces to increase the series' status in that regard. This time around, one of my lifelong idols Kurt Russell joins the proceedings, and upon hearing the casting it started to dawn on me that Russell himself could've played Peter Quill/Star-Lord in a hypothetical 1987-range incarnation of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. That would've been right after Big Trouble in Little China, a film my family loves and quotes obsessively ("Ah come on! What the hell?" is uttered daily in my household), and which I now realize must've been an influence on Gunn's Guardians movies.
Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, Soldier, Breakdown, Escape From New York, Overboard, Elvis, Used Cars, Miracle, Death Proof, The Hateful Eight -- Russell has appeared in so many of my personal favorite films year after year, and so many movies that helped shape and define my love of cinema and genre storytelling. I can imagine Kurt Russell was bouncing around in Gunn's subconscious when he wrote the role of Peter Quill, and I can imagine Russell's films whispering their influences into the director's ear, because that's just the nature of Russell and his movies. They hit you, and stay with you.
Source: Marvel Studios

Baby Groot struggles with the precise order of I Am Groot in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



Having grown up in the deep south during the 1970s and 1980s, music and film were windows through which I could escape the sense of social isolation and restricted view of the world where I lived (at the end of our short gravel road was a swamp, complete with alligators). A certain corner of one-hit-wonder pop music combined with punk, metal, rockabilly, and New Wave formed the soundtrack of my youth, and I watched with envy as my older brothers drove around in their two Dodge Challengers (a '72 and a '73). Movies, music, and comic books, plus a crazy and edgy family of 12 people crammed into a small house in the middle of nowhere, proved a potent blend that defined my childhood and teenage years, not to mention all of the years since.
The point is, I not only see but also feel in my bones the influences and sensibilities that came to bear on Guardians of the Galaxy, and watching Gunn's movies rekindles all of those old emotions and memories. This is one of the film series I experience on the most personal of levels, and for that I am grateful to everyone involved. With Vol. 2, the still-painful loss of my father a few years ago came repeatedly to mind and had a profound impact on my reaction to the film. It's not often that a summer blockbuster superhero/sci-fi adventure full of rapid-fire humor reaches so deep into the heart and memory, but when it does you know you're dealing with something very special.
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Unread 2017-04-26, 11:21 AM   #120
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I see some reviews bemoaning the fact Vol. 2 didn't create the same urgent sense of discovery and newness felt upon viewing the original film for the first time. And for that, some reviewers seem inclined to consider the film a failure or some degree of disappointing, which in turn translates into them giving it a thumbs-down or otherwise negative review overall. It's a shame first of all that the remarkably quirky, entirely unexpected and different approach to the story this time around didn't impart a sense of discovery or newness to those reviewers. But more to the point, it speaks to the unfortunate binary nature of modern film criticism that every assessment seems increasingly whittled down to a simplistic "is it better than the the last thing?" and/or "if it's not better, then it's bad" mentality. And you can't name two things you like without instantly being asked to pick the one you prefer, and then having your choice judged as if picking one thing over another inherently devalues the thing you didn't pick.
Source: Marvel Studios

Drax shares an introspective moment with Quill in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



If Vol. 2 had to make you feel the same way again that you felt the first time you experienced these characters, and if your notion of growth is limited to the same experience felt again (or felt again but more intensely), then it's a wonder you can enjoy much of anything at the movies. Which, come to think of it, would explain the cynicism-chic and faux-jaded reactions of so many entertainment journalists and reviewers these days. I'm not complaining that people don't like something, I'm complaining that so many people seem to have lazy way of measuring art and expressing their analysis of it. I'm complaining about "this new thing today didn't make me feel the way I felt about a different thing yesterday, so this new thing sucks" perception of life.
But really, those mixed or negative reactions are from a relatively small segment of film critics so far. And again, I'm not saying nobody should have any reason to dislike it. Some people are not going to like the fact it prefers to spend a lot more time with the characters working out their issues with one another and having emotional epiphanies within a more restrained set of locations (as bizarre as it is to use the word "restrained" about the locations in this film). Some people will simply not be into the more outlandish and mind-altering concepts, or how far into cosmic comic book geekiness the film dives. It still has swashbuckling and adventurism and planet-hopping, just all dialed back to make more room for the larger ideas and emotions that need plenty of room to grow and have their day.
So yes, I realize some people's tastes will just run different and they'll dislike some aspects of this movie or be less enthralled with it than others of us. But I also believe there's a distinction between that sort of lack of shared enthusiasm and personal taste, and the sort of ho-hum resort to certain lazy devices used in some film critique to dismiss a film by just ignoring readily apparent artistic merit in favor of simplistic negative appeals. It's one thing to claim Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 isn't as good as the first film -- I think that assessment depends on which aspects we are talking about comparing, but regardless one can certainly make the claim -- but quite another to assert Vol. 2 is a bad movie or delivers spectacle without heart and character, or that failure to be as good (in a particular reviewer's eyes) as the first film translates into disappointment and failure as a film. Those latter notions strike me as far too shallow and unhelpful in truly understanding what does or doesn't work in a movie.
Source: Marvel Studios

Impressive visuals and dazzling colors fill "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



Which was better, The Godfather or The Godfather Part II? Whichever your answer, imagine recommending the one you chose and then saying the other isn't worth seeing, or is bad, or is a letdown. Even those -- like Roger Ebert -- who famously disliked Part II still tend to also recognize it's a great film worthy of the praise it receives from most other critics and viewers. Imagine giving a thumbs-down to every other Thanksgiving dinner that wasn't as good as your favorite Thanksgiving dinner. And so on. It used to be only a few gadfly reviewers and occasional eccentric cinephiles would regard film critique in such a way, but while it's still a comparatively small segment who engage in this sort of behavior today, the number seems to be growing, and some film fan sentiment too often seems to reflect similar such absolutist, binary, and shallow thinking.
Lest you think I'm not aware of my own biases, I'm also keenly aware of the especially personal connection I feel to these films, especially the latest outing, and that those for whom the sequel lacks the same resonance it's surely easier to overlook or ignore some of the better aspects of the film. I don't believe my perspective makes me see things that aren't there, it just elevates my own enjoyment of them.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a joy, it is beautiful to behold in pure visual terms, it is laugh-out-loud funny, it is warm and human and honest, and it is a weird, irreverent, tripped-out little personal art film in the body of a gargantuan summer popcorn flick. I've seen it a couple of times already, and it was even better upon second viewing (more on that in a moment). It has plenty for the kids to enjoy again -- more in fact since certain of the humor and characters like Baby Groot will offer added enjoyment for younger viewers -- while also being outrageously hip enough for teens and young adults to relish, and then there are those endless bags of nostalgia and personal resonance for us older audience members, not to mention the wonderful storytelling and acting and dazzling effects and everything else that makes it a thrilling start to the Summer movie season.
About that second viewing, and those gorgeous visuals: I saw Guardians Vol. 2 at its Los Angeles premiere, held (as most of the Marvel premieres tend to be) at the Dolby Theatre. This is where I remind you that part of my love of movies is the theatrical experience, since movie theaters are my church and are the holiest worship sites of pop culture entertainment. The size of screens, the quality of the projected images, the brightness of the bulbs in the projectors, and the all-important audio experience are things I obsess about. At home, I want surround sound and the biggest possible screen and the best quality Blu-ray player, because every nuance of movie viewing matters. I say this for those who don't read enough of my reviews and other writing to know how important the technical aspects of the movies are to me.
Source: Marvel Studios

Rocket takes great pleasure in shooting holes in things in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"



So, Guardians Vol. 2 is already a bright, colorful movie, as you already know from the trailers. Seeing it on a regular screen for my first viewing, it was clear the sequel exceeds the original film in terms of eye-popping visuals and color. At the premiere in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, however, the vivid and seemingly endless parade of color and minute details in every frame of film was gloriously revealed, far beyond what I'd witnessed in the first screening. Such rich texture and radiant hues on a towering screen brought home the exquisite work and laborious detail that went into ensuring Vol. 2's visual impact was far beyond anything we saw in the first film. If you're lucky enough to have a Dolby Cinema near you, especially if it offers 3D too, then by all means treat yourself.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn and Marvel deliver the sequel audiences were waiting for, turning what by all rights should be a demented and fringe concept of characters and story into a mainstream extravaganza sure to please most viewers and send them scrambling back for more. Don't ignore that 100% perfect score from test audiences -- it means people are ready to have the boundaries not only pushed but completely torn down, and are hungry to find out what's on the other side because they think they're going to like it. Gunn knew that, and he happily obliged.
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Unread 2017-04-26, 12:27 PM   #121
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Karen Gillan Reveals That Nebula Was Originally Meant To Die

Karen Gillan's villainous (and slightly tragic) Nebula made a lasting impression in Guardians of the Galaxy, but the actress has now revealed the character originally met a very different fate...




Karen Gillan's villainous Nebula lived to fight another day after narrowly escaping at the conclusion of Guardians of the Galaxy. While the character returns as a begrudging member of the team in the sequel, Gillan revealed in an interview with Digital Spy that the film's original script actually saw Nebula die.

"No, I did not [foresee a character arc for Nebula]. I definitely had a feeling that there was room for the character to expand in the future, but she was originally supposed to die in the first movie, I think I remember in the script," she explained. "She obviously did not die, then I found out that she was coming back in the second movie and then I found out we got to explore all these amazing things about her past and her relationship with Gamora, her sister, so I was really happy."
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Guardians director James Gunn previously stated that he's thought about Nebula having her own spin-off film, something that Gillan was very enthused about, despite the very limited chance of it ever happening. "I'm waiting for this [spin-off] because obviously this needs to happen. I don't know if it's ever going to happen, but I would love it. I think it would be amazing to see a female-driven film like that. We have Captain Marvel coming up, which is quite exciting. We could do with some more females at the forefront."
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Unread 2017-04-27, 08:06 AM   #122
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2.: The Galaxy Won't Save Itself On This New Poster; 3 TV Spots Released

Ahead of next week's release of the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a new poster for the film has debuted online, along with a batch of TV spots. Check it out past the jump.




Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sees its official North American release next week, and the film is already looking to be a hit, with a predicted $100 million intake overseas this coming weekend. Ahead of the release, a brand new poster has debuted online, featuring a stylized shot of the team. Additionally, we have 3 brand new TV spots, which you can view below!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 releases on May 5th, 2017. Do you have your tickets? Let us know in the comments!



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Unread 2017-04-27, 11:54 AM   #123
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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Post-Credits Scenes Explained



SPOILERS TO FOLLOW


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now playing in theaters in various countries around the world as it slowly begins to take over the entire planet.
With the second adventure of Marvel's cosmic heroes came the introduction of several new characters and a massive expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also more post-credits scenes then ever before. While some of these scenes were significant and revealing, others appeared to be just for fun.





Still, ComicBook.com is here to clear up the confusion and answer any question there might be regarding the additional sequences which follow Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Warning: Full spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and its post-credits scenes follow!


N
 
ew Yondu

The first of four post-credits scenes featured Kraglin wearing Yondu's fin and toying around with how to control the blue-man's arrow. As he whistled it around, into the air and back to the ground, Kraglin started to feel a little more dangerous and let out a big whistle which sent the arrow around the corner.
Of course, the arrow landed in Drax the Destroyer's chest and Kraglin went running from the now angry muscle man.
This may have been a meaningless tease as there won't surely be any permanent damage to Drax's health but it may have planted a seed for future films. With the earlier introductions of characters such as Starhawk and Martinex in Vol. 2, a new Yondu will have to step into the role if the classic Guardians of the Galaxy roster is going to become a factor. With each of the characters being shown on the screen before Vol. 2 came to an end, it appears to be the path future Guardians or Marvel films may follow.



Teenage Groot

Peter Quill bursts into Groot's room. The talking houseplant is now in his teenage years in terms of attitude as he neglects paying any attention to Quill while playing his video game surrounded by vines which have overtaken the room.




Quill urges him to clean the room up and put the game down but Groot quips back with an "I am Groot." For the first time on screen, Quill understands what Groot said and talks back and forth with him. Going forward, Rocket Racccoon will not be the only member of the Guardians who can communicate with Groot.
Furthermore, it was recently stated that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes place about 4 years before Avengers: Infinity War. While it's unclear how much time has passed between the closing moments of the film and this particular scene, the Teenage Groot seen here may be the Groot we will be seeing for the team-up with the Avengers.



Stan Lee

Stan Lee made his post-credits scene debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as he built on his cameo appearance which came earlier in the film.
Early in Vol. 2, Stan Lee is seen on a rock floating through the cosmos wearing an astronaut suit talking to the Watchers. In the scene which was quickly cut into the film as a space ship used jump windows to quickly travel from planet to planet passed them by, Lee was describing his cameo in Captain America: Civil War as a FedEx man.
Lee's post-credits scene left him in space as the three Watchers he was speaking to elected to leave him behind. "You guys are my ride home," Lee called out. Perhaps the Avengers will bump into him during their feud with Thanos. Or, maybe, Stan Lee will be floating on a rock in the cosmos of the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever.



"Adam"

One scene, in particular, managed to capture the essence of the classic Marvel Studios post-credits scene.
Shortly after realizing the cost of her losses, Ayesha is informed that the Sovereign's council wishes to see her. She expects to be ridiculed for her failing efforts but has an ace up her sleeve: a creation strong enough to destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy.



Just before the camera cuts to Ayesha's view, the villainous leader of the Sovereign says she will call him, "Adam." Then, we see his golden coccoon.
Ayesha is referring to Adam Warlock, one of the most powerful beings in Marvel comics. Though Warlock has served as both enemy and ally to Thanos in comics, he is said to be sitting out the Avengers: Infinity War films. In comics, however, Warlock was created by the Enclave, which had similar goals as the Sovereign to create the perfect humans.


The Grandmaster

Hidden in the actual credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was the first appearance of Jeff Goldblum's The Grandmaster.
The Grandmaster will play a role in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok film as the ringleader of Sakaar's gladiatoral battles which will eventually see the God of Thunder take on the incredible Hulk.
During the latter moments of Vol. 2's credits, various characters from the film were seen dancing to the tune of the David Hasselhoff sung, "Guardians Inferno." Among them, Peter Quill, Yondu, Mantis, Nebula, Gamora, and just before they concluded, the Grandmaster.
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Unread 2017-04-28, 11:49 PM   #124
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Unread 2017-04-29, 08:05 PM   #125
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Spoiler-Free Review; "An Out Of This World Experience"

There's just one more week to go until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is released, so hit the jump for our completely spoiler-free verdict on this highly anticipated sequel from Marvel Studios...





Guardians of the Galaxy exceeded expectations in every way possible back in 2014, so to say that hopes were high for the sequel to deliver would be an understatement. From finding the same magic soundtrack to special effects and story, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had the odds stacked against it from the start despite the return of writer/director James Gunn and the brilliant ensemble cast from the first instalment. It's amazing then that this is one of those rare follow-ups which not only delivers but exceeds the aforementioned expectations, actually eclipsing the first in damn near every way possible as a result.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in some ways more contained than the first movie (which often felt like something of a road trip through outer space). While there's plenty of spectacle and jaw-dropping new planets to behold, much of the action is takes place in just a handful of locations. That would hurt a lot of movies, but Gunn makes such great use of the story and characters that it never matters and is unlikely to be something you ever really notice. It goes without saying that the returning cast members are all great, though it's Chris Pratt who steals the show this time as Star-Lord is taken on an emotional and compelling journey of discovering his father's identity and what exactly that means for him. It was, of course, Dave Bautista who stole it last time around, but Drax's unique brand of humour is a tad hit and miss in this outing, an issue which proves to be Vol. 2's only real issue. While the jokes made by our heroes land a good 90% of the time, there is that 10% which just don't work, something which results in some lines feeling a little forced or out of place.

That's a pretty minor complaint, though, and there's no denying that this is a fun movie with a strong story and performances which will stick with you for a long time to come. It goes without saying that Kurt Russell is superb as Ego the Living Planet, while newcomers Pom Klementieff and Elizabeth Debicki are also excellent (the former will make a much bigger impression on you as a character you want to see more of, but the latter sets up something pretty huge for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and escapes being a typical generic Marvel villain as a result). The work of Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn as Yondu and Kraglin also deserves to be highlighted as both take two entertaining characters from the first movie and give them a heck of a lot of heart here. However, despite all of this, it should come as no surprise to learn that Baby Groot is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's true star. Hilarious in places and heart-wrenching in others, the tiny sentient tree is destined to become a firm fan-favourite and may just be the best thing Marvel has done to date. If you don't want your own Baby Groot by the time all is said and done, you may very well be dead inside. Just saying.

In terms of story, the movie is a little lighter than some other comic book adaptations, but that's no bad thing when there's so much going on. Splitting the team up proves to be a wise move and the huge amount of heart they bring to the table help make this a sequel to remember. The father and son theme is a strong one too and things head in some unexpected directions throughout making this an even bigger triumph than the first in terms of sheer originality. Special effects are flawless, while the soundtrack is arguably better than the first thanks to some great tunes from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Glen Campbell, and Cheap Trick. There's a lot to dissect in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (we'll get to all that in some upcoming feature), but this is by far one of the best and most inventive superhero movies to date; where else will you find an adorable living tree dancing to ELO as his teammates get their asses kicked in the background?

An out of this world experience packed full of strong performances, stellar story beats, and fresh ideas help ensure that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of Marvel's best movies to date. It may, in fact, be their greatest of all-time.

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