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Guardians of the Galaxy became a hit for Marvel by doing its own thing. Sure, it had references to the grander Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was very much a self-contained film. Moving towards the sequel, writer-director James Gunn plans on staying true to that aesthetic — even if many of us want it to lead into Avengers: Infinity War.

During a live Facebook Q&A, which can be seen on Gunn’s Facebook page, the filmmaker responded to a number of questions, including one about any potential connection to Avengers: Infinity War from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. Here’s what he said,
I’m a lot more concerned with Vol. 2 than I am with Infinity Wars. The way the movie [Vol. 2] is structured and made – it really is a story unto itself. It’s not about leading up to anything else. It’s about the Guardians and their lives.

So, at least for the time bing, the Guardians will remain somewhat separate from the Earth-bound heroes. Guardians 2 is currently scheduled for release on May 5, 2017, and the first part of Infinity War opens on May 4, 2018. In between are Spider-Man, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther. When Kevin Feige announced Ragnarok, he said the plan was for this film to change the landscape of the MCU much in the same way Captain America: The Winter Soldier did. In that sense, it seems like a better candidate for a potential Infinity War lead-in.

Gunn’s statements further strengthen Dave Bautista’s statements to Cinema Blend. The actor, who portrays Drax the Destroyer, sat down with us during our set visit for Spectre and said that the plan for Guardians 2 is to go more in-depth into the characters’ backstories, including that of Drax. The hard part was to get audiences to fall in love with them, including someone like a foulmouthed, gun-slinging raccoon. But they did, and now that the hard part is over and done, Gunn can go even further into their pasts.

Aside from Bautista, Guardians 2 will feature Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot, Karen Gillan as Nebula, and — if Saldana can be trusted — Benicio Del Toro will return as The Collector. Gunn also promised to include at least one Sneeper, an alien race whose name is the same word for clitoris in Icelandic. With a name like that, Gunn couldn’t NOT include one in the film. While plot details on the film are still unknown, Gunn has teased that this film will explore the identity of Star-Lord’s mystery daddy.

This would also be another good place for Josh Brolin to show his face as Thanos, the Mad Titan looking to scoop up all six Infinity Stones. The actor has been teasing his next appearance in the MCU for some time, but he still hasn’t been able to say definitively which one. All we have to say is that the Guardians better have a part to play fighting this galactic baddie.