Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now officially in production, as director James Gunn took to Facebook to reveal a few new details about the film alongside new cast announcements.
Much of the cast from the original film is returning, except this time, they'll be joined by Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan and Kurt Russell. Klementieff will be playing the alien Mantis, while Russell is heavily rumored to be playing the role of Star Lord's mysterious father. This has been rumored for a while, so it is likely true.
Here is Marvel's brief synopsis for the upcoming sequel:
"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."
Given how the synopsis is emphasizing "Quill's true parentage" and that we already know Quill's father will play a large role in the film, it feels safe to assume Russell will be playing Star Lord's dad.
As for other new details, there aren't many. Gunn's post was accompanied by a shadowy picture of the film's heroes, which does seem to confirm that Groot won't be back to his normal self in the sequel, at least at first. You may remember he sacrificed himself at the end of the first film, only to grow back in much smaller form. He's a little bigger this time around than he was at the end of the first movie (look at his little legs!), but we expect he will have returned to full strength by the movie's climax.
Rumors about the film have been circulating for a while now, with the latest being that one of Marvel's largest (and strangest) villains may be set to make an appearance. In addition, Gunn says that while Star Lord's dad will play a role, the character isn't the same as the one featured in Marvel's comic series. That should keep fans guessing about the character's real identity, but we'll have to wait to see what Gunn has planned. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is on track for a May 5, 2017 release date.