Besides its quirkiness and chemistry, Guardians of the Galaxy served as the first substantive dip into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s "cosmic" theater. It was a risky, but necessary move that ultimately paid off huge. However, the film’s star, Chris Pratt, hopes the team’s future exploits don’t lead them back to Star-Lord’s home planet.

In an interview with IGN, Pratt discussed the speculated long-term plans for the Guardians franchise, specifically related to a possible team-up with "Earth’s Mightiest Heroes," The Avengers, tackling evil on Earth. Yet, for Pratt, who has not been officially briefed on such plans, he’d rather keep things in the cosmos. According to Pratt:
I think, like the universe itself, it’s best to expand outward. I don’t personally – and it’s not up to me, I’ll do whatever they want me to do – I don’t want to see the Guardians defend Cleveland, Ohio. We’re cosmic man. I want to be in space.

Pratt reiterated the speculative nature of a Guardians/Avengers team-up, divulging and that such an idea had not been discussed with him as of yet. However, given the way that the long term plans for the MCU are structured, all roads seem to lead to a cosmic level confrontation with the Mad Titan, Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War: Part I in 2018 and Part II in 2019. Such a skirmish is not only applicable to the Guardians’ territory, but the Infinity Stone-centric struggle was already germane to them when they wrested the Power Stone away from Ronan the Accuser in the first film. Thus, the team’s involvement in the Infinity War films seems like an inevitability.

Of course, that is not to say that Pratt is being coy. His "defend Cleveland" comment genuinely reflects his views on what the Guardians film series should and should not attempt to tackle, lest it lose focus of its thematic mission. The spirit of the first film seems to be its sense of sublime wonder and exploration of the farther edges of the universe through the "average guy" eyes of Pratt’s Peter Quill. In that sense, Pratt is merely implying that he hopes the follow-up films in the series adheres to that purpose and build upon it in a profound way.

It will nevertheless be exciting to learn what the cosmos has in store for the MCU’s awesome "a-holes" as the Guardians sequel takes shape. James Gunn apparently just turned in a first draft of the script for the unnamed sequel yesterday and apparently pitched the plot to Pratt, who said he was so moved by what he heard, it actually brought tears to his eyes. While Pratt obviously remained mum on the specifics of what moved him, in the past, Gunn has described Guardians 2 as "a story about fathers." Perhaps, for a doting dad like Pratt, the story hit close to home.

While it’s looking like the action won’t wind up in Cleveland, the city that, coincidentally, Guardians cameo player Howard the Duck made his home, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will bring its brand of intergalactic mischief to theaters on May 5, 2017.

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