"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" will include a number of lead female characters. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are returning from the sequel's 2014 predecessor, and Pom Klementieff and Elizabeth Debicki have joined the cast in lead roles for the follow-up. Considering that toy lines and merchandise based on blockbuster films have a history of excluding female characters, writer/director James Gunn has taken to social media to address concerns that the trend will continue with "GOTG2."
I've been on this 100% from the beginning of Vol 2 making sure our primary female characters are represented in toys https://t.co/B5CYlNNDpz
- James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 17, 2016
Gunn then reiterated his point in a comment posted on Facebook, saying that he's "making sure this time around the female characters are more represented in the toy world. Not only Gamora, but Mantis, Nebula, and Elizabeth Debicki's character as well."
This comes as a response to previous criticism that female characters are excluded from toy lines. The availability of toys for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens'" lead character Rey was a topic of discussion earlier this year. Similar conversations have centered on Marvel's Black Widow, and the #WheresGamora tag became popular on Twitter and Tumblr when "Guardians" debuted in 2014.
It's known that Gamora and Mantis, played by Klementieff, will both be members of the Guardians team. Nebula will also have a role, and Gunn's comments imply that Elizabeth Debicki's mystery character will also be a prominent one. It's rumored that she's actually the main villain of the film, possibly a character called Ayesha/Her.
Directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" opens on May 5, 2017.