The Marvel movies hitting theaters in 2017 are finished. At the moment, the filmmakers at Marvel Studios are looking ahead to Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, movies that will be dropping in 2018 -- which is how we know that some members of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast are part of the next Avengers movie. Does that mean, then that the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will bridge a gap between the cosmic adventures of that team and the Earth-bound Avengers, and maybe even expand Thanos' role? Not exactly. On a recent trip to the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 set, Marvel President Kevin Feige told CinemaBlend:

I always say, all the movies, Civil War is a standalone story about that, but that fit into [the MCU]. This is even more of a standalone story than that. This is about the characters. This is about their evolution as heroes, as their own internal family, as the group, a group of characters known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. You know, the way this film ends, and the team at the end, will inform future things, but there's nothing that nods directly towards it.

OK, speculation time. If Kevin Feige is saying that the way this film ends "informs" future things, then I'm thinking it's possible that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) points his ship, the Milano, towards Earth, and Avengers Tower. Maybe Star-Lord figures out something about the Infinity Stones? As we reported in an earlier piece from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the reason why Peter was able to hold the purple Power Stone will be investigated in this sequel. And we're running out of movies in which Thanos can make his presence known. I mean, Spider-Man: Homecoming isn't expected to have any Thanos ties. Thor: Ragnarok sure can, but Guardians 2 should have something. Right?

Still, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 writer/director James Gunn made it clear that including Thanos in his sequel wasn't preferred, because he wanted to focus on the dysfunctional relationship between estranged sisters Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), rather than figuring out how their Daddy Issues drove them apart. Gunn also admitted that this scene, from the first movie, felt out of place in his mind, and he didn't want to make that same mistake twice.

Avengers: Infinity War is expected to be the biggest superhero team-up movie in history, inviting pretty much every established hero in the MCU (and a few new faces, like Brie Larson's Captain Marvel) to the big screen to take on Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. Before we get there, though, the Guardians of the Galaxy return to action in a sequel that will introduce Peter Quill to his father, Ego the Living Planet, played by Kurt Russell.

We'll have plenty more from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in coming days. The movie opens everywhere on May 5. And for more information on Upcoming Marvel Movies, click that text.

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