Why Guardians 2 Is Called Vol. 2 Instead Of Having A Subtitle

Baby Groot don't press this button guardians of the galaxy vol 2

There isn't a great deal of consistency when it comes to the titles of Marvel Studios sequels. While Captain America, Thor, and Avengers movies all come outfitted with subtitles, the same can't be said for Iron Man -- the series that kicked everything off. The upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 falls in the latter category... which begs the question of how titles are picked in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently explained to me, the answer is that there is really no hard and fast rule, and that they go with what they feel works best. Said the executive/producer,

Oh, it always sort of feels whatever is appropriate. I think the popularity of the notion of the Vol. 1, Awesome Mix Tape Volume 1 just made it thematically appropriate. And at the end of that movie we see Awesome Mixtape Vol. 2, and what are all the other songs on Volume 2 and we just internally started referring to it as Vol. 2. I think actually when we announced the date at Comic-Con before it even came out, we started calling it Vol. 2.

It was only in June of 2015 that writer/director James Gunn confirmed that his first big screen sequel would be titled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. But apparently that news was already out there from July 2014 -- a few weeks before the release of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. I learned about this history and Marvel's approach to titles when I sat down with Kevin Feige at the recent Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Los Angeles press day -- and it seems that the name game process at the studio is similar to their method in many other areas.

Specifically, Kevin Feige is on the record many times talking about the way that each Marvel Studios project is approached individually -- and this certainly gels with what he describes above when it comes to titling blockbusters. It seems that getting James Gunn to make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 didn't come with shackling him to a specific naming approach, and because Vol. 2 made sense for the movie being made, it was picked.

As you will see in the exchange with Kevin Feige below, there are also other factors in play when it comes to titling Marvel Studios movies -- and he also hinted that we may already know the name of the third chapter as well:

Kevin Feige: Guardians of the Galaxy is also a pretty long title.Me: Yeah, sure, so you've got to shorten it a little bit.Kevin Feige: Pirates of the Caribbean does it, so... You can do anything.Me: Will Guardians 3 officially be called Vol. 3?Kevin Feige: Well, in the announcement... we call it Vol. 3, but other than that, we don't know.

For now we'll focus on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 -- which is just a few short days away from release, and set to arrive in U.S. theaters on May 5th. For now, hit the comments below and tell us if you like the title of the movie, or if you wish that the film went with a more creative subtitle instead.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.