Sequels are a tricky thing. Filmmakers always run the risk of hewing too closely to the first film, merely repeating story beats that audiences responded to the first time around. In some cases, sequels just become a rerun of the first film with new villains or set pieces swapped in. Writer/director James Gunn didn’t want that to happen with the follow-up to 2014’s surprise mega-hit “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Luckily for Gunn, the success of the first “Guardians” ensured that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” could be its own thing.
During a panel at the Writers Guild Foundation’s WGFestival, as reported by Variety, Gunn opened up about his creative process for the sequel.
“On the second movie I had a lot more freedom,” said Gunn. “Because the first movie did well and it was great not having to explain the five major characters to the audience in the first half hour, we just go straight into the story.” He added, “This has to be its own thing and you can’t start making this a sh—y Xerox of the first one.”
Gunn also revealed to the audience that they won’t have to wait long for Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) to meet his long lost father Ego (Kurt Russell). Gunn said that the highly anticipated family reunion occurs within the first 20 minutes of the film.
The director also revealed which Guardian he feels the most connected to. “Rocket’s character I relate to more than anybody; Rocket is me,” said Gunn, referencing the foul-mouthed raccoon scoundrel voiced by Bradley Cooper. “He has the anger issues that I have and he has the same inability to accept love that I have.”
Written and directed by James Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2″ stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and franchise newcomer, Kurt Russell, who plays Star-Lord’s father – Ego, the Living Planet. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” arrives in theaters May 5.