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Who exactly does Rocky icon Sylvester Stallone play in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (out May 5)? That’s something Marvel fans will have to wait a while longer to find out, thanks to the tight-lippedness of the film’s director James Gunn on the subject. But when EW recently spoke with the filmmaker, Gunn did tease Stallone’s role just a little.
“Sylvester Stallone plays a character from the comics who’s an important cosmic character,” said the director. “He plays an important role in Yondu’s life. And with him is Michael Rosenbaum, my old buddy, who was on Smallville for many years.”
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Gunn was more loquacious on the subject of what it was like to direct Stallone, whose Tango & Cash costar Kurt Russell is also in the superhero sequel.
“He was amazing, he really was,” said the filmmaker. “It was a bit intimidating, I must admit. Because, as a kid I grew up, running around in my backyard, pretending I was Snake Plissken or pretending I was Johnny Rambo. Those were my heroes as a child. So, all of a sudden, having to direct Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone in a movie is quite an amazing experience. Kurt, I got to direct over many months, and he just becomes ‘Kurt,’ and we hung out an awful lot, and he’s just my pal, and that iconic feeling has worn off to some degree. But with Sly, he’s still Sly. But he’s an incredibly funny human being, and we laugh a lot, and we laugh hard, and he’s also an incredibly professional guy, and we seemed to be very much in synch in terms of how we saw the character, how we saw the scene going. He had to come in on his first day and do this incredibly dramatic, intense scene. And a lot of times I’m afraid actors are going to hold back, because in these movies it’s all big, it’s all melodrama, so it’s important that he really go for it. And this is a guy who comes in, cool guy, tough guy — I was afraid he was going to be subdued. But no, he completely went for it and he and Michael Rooker [were] just screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. It was really one of my greatest moments on the set.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5.