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James Gunn Confirms Mantis For “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

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Following a press release that announced the start of production on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” released the first photo of the film’s core cast and confirmed Kurt Russell’s role in the film, writer/director James Gunn has dropped one more major piece of information via a Facebook comment. Gunn confirmed that newcomer Pom Klementieff will play Mantis in the film.

Klementieff was first cast back in October, her role shrouded in secrecy. Rumors emerged immediately after that pegged the actress as Mantis, a frequent ally and sometime member of the comic iteration of the Guardians. Gunn has frequently said that the sequel will add one more core member to the Guardians team, and it looks like that character is most likely Mantis.

Created by Steve Englehart and Don Heck, the comic version of Mantis is a half-Vietnamese, half-German woman who was left with the Priests of Pama, a sect of the Kree, as an infant. These Kree, who believe her to be the Celestial Madonna, taught her martial arts. She possesses the ability to instinctively sense weak points in an opponent as well as superhuman strength. Gunn has stressed that Peter Quill will remain the only true Earth-born human in the cast, so it’s likely that Mantis’ Earthly origins will be altered in a fashion similar to how Drax’s were for the first “Guardians.”

Elizabeth Debicki and Chris Sullivan were also announced as part of the sequel’s cast, but their roles have not yet been identified. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” opens on May 5, 2017.