guardians of the galaxy vol. 2

Can you talk about the decision to make the movie take place a couple months later as opposed to a couple years, because usually the Marvel movies take place in real time.

Right. Why to do that?┬áI think because they’re just such fragile egos, and they’re so combustible that this is really the time. I think they’d have problems with each other pretty instantly. And so I just felt like it was more- Again, you ask me why I do these things, I don’t know why. Seemed funny when I was writing it. It’s what came up, and I thought about it being later and I think a lot of it was the Groot thing as well. When I first started thinking about it, when I was jotting down ideas, I thought Groot was maybe going to be an adult. And I thought “God, what if I just make Groot a baby for the whole movie. Like he’s a baby.” And I think that just felt right. So a lot of it had to do with that.

Star-Lord's Father

What’s it like going from being a fan of Kurt Russel to directing him?

It’s pretty crazy. It’s pretty crazy. Especially, Escape From New York, to me is like one of those bible movies as a kid. It’s like one of the core experience films. So working with Snake Plisskin has been quite an experience. But he’s great. I’ve worked with a few actors who I’ve admired a lot. Benicio was like that. Glenn Close was like that. Kevin Bacon was like that. Those are people who I really admired as actors, and it wasn’t like coming into work with somebody who was more of a contemporary. It was somebody who was famous and successful long before I was. Not so Benicio, but he was pretty young when he became successful.

And working with Kurt, he’s been the most down to Earth. And maybe it’s also because I’m more confident than I use to be, but I think he’s been down to Earth. And he’s funny as shit, and we laugh hard. And he’s filthy.

James Gunn's dog on the Guardians of the Galaxy set

Is Wesley going to be back in this movie?

He might. He might, we’ll have to see. My dog, he loves to appear in movies.

I mean, he and baby Groot would…

I don’t think he could handle the CGI. Working besides the CGI character.

guardians of the galaxy nova corps

You mentioned Glenn Close, they said before it’s not 100 percent sure that she’ll be back, but they were talking to-

Who said that?

I don’t want to blame everything on Kevin, but it was sort of a, we don’t really know if she’s-

Yeah, we’re going to shoot with Glenn Close.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - Mantis

Can you add any context to the scene we watched before. Them going on to the ship, Kurt Russel’s ship.

Yeah, that’s it. They’re taking a trip on Kurt Russel’s spaceship. His freaky, creepy, sixties pop-art spaceship. At the beginning.

But Quill looks unsure…

Quill does? Yeah, I think they’re all a little unsure.

Are they first meeting each other?

It’s not too long after they meet each other. It’s not too long.

Nova concept art

In the first treatment you mentioned there’s a character that got cut, wasn’t really necessary, was that another Guardian eventually be in the future?

Yeah. Yeah for sure, I love the character actually. I loved everything about the character, I just didn’t have room for him.

Was it a classic Guardian?

I don’t know what you think is a classic Guardian. You mean Yondu, Starhawk classic Guardians? No.

guardians of the galaxy vol. 2

So, you can’t tell us a lot, but seeing what his ship looks like and the weird loungey design he’s got going on, what can you tell us about the character formerly known as J-Son?┬áReally by the time we write this the trailer’s going to be out and it’s- We signed non-disclosures.

I know. I know. I know. I know, I know you guys.

Like his characteristics. Like what kind of guy is he?

He’s a lot like Kurt Russell. And he really is a lot like Kurt Russel. So, he’s a very interesting guy. And I think he’s a very thoughtful guy. And I think he’s a very gregarious guy. And I think we get to see Kurt Russel in his full glory expressing himself.

Is there any name value attached to that role that is part of why you’re nervous about revealing who he is? You mentioned that there wasn’t so much that with Mantis, because there’s different depictions. So I’m curious with this person.

You guys.

We care.

You care. You do care that’s nice, that’s nice. So, that’s good. That’s not what’s at the front of my mind. Really, at the front of my mind is just creating all of them as the fullest on-screen personalities as I possibly can. And being as honest and as true as I honestly can. And having it being something relevant to our own emotions and our own world today.

I didn’t know if that was part of why you were being so secretive about it, is because you didn’t want if people found out the name of this person have that idea be something different than what you were putting on the screen.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff)

In addition to Kurt’s character can you talk about Mantis and what dynamic she adds to the group?

Well, I think Mantis is as odd and strange as Pom is. And I think she is an incredibly unique character. And I think she’s funny as shit. And she’s really funny. And she’s also a little creepy. And she’s great. She really is great. I remember when we were auditioning Star-Lord, you’re asking for this straight, white, dude and we screen tested 25 guys and it was really hard finding somebody great because, honestly, a lot of the really great guys in that age categories become movie stars. And to be auditioning Asian actresses was awesome. Truly, we screen tested four actresses who all four of them were totally incredible. It’s just Pom happened to fit the role the best, but it was a really amazing experience. And honestly, truly, an example of there’s a lot of actors out there who don’t get the opportunities of these lead roles that a regular white dude does.

Besides an obvious working relationship how would you describe the relationship between Mantis and Kurt’s character? In the film. I mean, she’s his-

She works for him basically. That’s it. I think it’s very interesting to watch the relationship between Mantis and the other characters. Because like them, she’s an outcast. I think the relationship between her and Drax is very interesting because they’re both complete oddballs.

What about her relationship with Peter, and their dynamic?

It’s more of a relationship to the group as a whole, but I think she relates a little bit more to Gamora and Drax then she does to Peter.


What’s different about your villains this time around? What’s the dynamic-

I think the main thing that was different, and this is really important to me, was to be able to make the story one where the personal story of the Guardians and the villain agenda, plot, was all about one thing. And that was important to me. It wasn’t like “oh, here’s our characters on journey with each other while they’re fighting this big bad that’s doing whatever he or she is doing, and just that’s it.” Which honestly, the first movie if there was one thing that I- It’s fine, but it is, kind of, two separate stories there’s Ronin taking over this planet and murdering the universe, and then there’s these guys who through that journey get to know each other and come together. In this movie all of those things are a little bit more interwoven. It really is all one story. And that is, to me, a lot more satisfying way to tell a story.

When you were coming up for the treatment for this whole thing, or the pitch, it seems like this is about family. The core theme of this whole thing. At least from what we can tell. Do you come up with that theme before you start writing this, or does that theme come out and you work the villains? How does that happen?

It’s a step by step thing. Probably the first thing was the larger science fiction concept. The science fiction concept. The movie’s more science fiction, the first one was. It’s still a space fantasy. They still have jet-packs. Gamora has a sword and shit they would never have in space, but it’s more of a science fiction concept behind it. So I think, that’s what came first and then the theme started its way into that. That would, sort of, push me forward in another direction. Then maybe I’d have a character moment that would push me forward in another direction. Then an ending that pulls. So it really is going step by step in terms of what affects me the most.

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