Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will pick up shortly after the first film ended.
Speaking to EW at Comic-Con on Saturday, director James Gunn said the sequel will start just two months after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy.
“The last movie was about the Guardians, who are these outcasts and misfits, becoming a family,” Gunn said of what to expect from Guardians Vol. 2. “This one is about them being a family. As most of us in families know, being in a family is a lot harder than becoming one. It’s the difference between falling in love and being in love and being in a relationship.”
The sequel adds a few new characters, including Pom Klementieff as Mantis and Kurt Russell, who plays Star-Lord’s father. “Kurt’s character is an incredibly important role,” Gunn said of the character, who was revealed to be named Ego in the film’s Comic-Con teaser. “For me, he was the center — his character, even before he was around — was the center of what this movie was. We had a great camaraderie on the first film, but when Kurt and Pom started coming around, it seemed even better.”
Asked what it was like to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Russell joked, “I was surprised by how much money Marvel offers you.”
When the laughter died down, he added, “All you can ever hope for as an actor is an opportunity to create a memorable role. […] That’s the kind of movie this is: those characters who will be remembered. This was an opportunity to do that.”
As for Chris Pratt, who returns as Star-Lord, he said having Russell in the cast was a dream come true that lived up to the dream.
“It’s rare you get an opportunity to work with somebody you’ve admired as long as I’ve admired Kurt and his work. Sometimes you do that and you meet someone and you’re kind of let down,” he said, adding, “This is not that case.”
“Kurt’s awesome,” Pratt continued. “We have a lot in common. We talked for hours and hours and hours, and almost none of that talk was even about the movie. It was just about life. We’ve formed, I think, a pretty incredible bond and I think we’ll be friends for a long time. He’s decided to be my dad in real life.”
For more on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, including the status of Groot (Vin Diesel) when the film begins, watch the video above.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrives in theaters on May 5, 2017.