We’ve often heard sequels use the phrase "getting the band back together" when they assemble cast members for another story. But the team behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes that statement to a new level, giving the crew a rock-and-roll vibe as they announce the kickoff of production on the second Guardians movie with the following image.



Seriously, if you added a few smoke machines, and a well-placed laser light, this still frame could be taken from a 1980s hair-metal video. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Are you hooked on a feeling yet?

There are a few things worth noticing in this lit-from-behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 image. Star-Lord, aka Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), is brandishing his signature helmet with the glowing red eyes. Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) hasn’t returned to his full size yet,  which likely indicates that the sequel will take place shortly after the conclusion of the events of the first movie. And though we have covered the news that there will be new members added to the team, the first image focus on the core five members that we met, and assembled, in Marvel’s incredibly successful Guardians of the Galaxy.

In a press release accompanying the announcement of the start of production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel confirms that the emphasis of the sequel will be about tracing the roots of Peter’s family tree. Or, as Marvel puts it:
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

To that end, the press release also confirms what had been rumored for months now: Kurt Russell has been added to the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, likely in the role of Peter Quill’s father. We don’t have a character name yet to associate with Russell in the movie. But director James Gunn has said in the past that he isn’t going to use J-Son, as has been used in the comics. Casting Kurt Russell likely also dispels the rumors that Star-Lord’s father will be Yondu (played by Michael Rooker in the first movie), or even Adam Warlock, as I think they’d want to go with a younger actor if they were filling that particular role in the MCU.

So, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is underway in Atlanta, with James Gunn at the helm and the majority of his creative team back in place. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista are back on the team, while Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel will be lending their voices to Rocket Racoon and Groot, respectively.  Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan and Sean Gunn will be reprising their roles in the sequel, which is expected to reach theaters on May 5, 2017, continuing the studio’s ongoing Phase 3 of Marvel stories. 

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