A few weeks ago in Hollywood the cast and team from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gathered to discuss the film. The movie opens nationwide on May 5th. I will have a follow up posting with my review. Due to the size of the cast and others present there were two panel discussions for media. Here are some pictures and quotes from the media event. First up the two panels:
This second film takes on a different feel from the first and doesn’t quite follow the normal sequel movie route. James Gunn was the driving force in that and had an interesting take on sequels.
JAMES GUNN: You know, listen, I just, I wanted to continue the film from the first movie, you know. It was, so many sequels are not good. The primary reason in studying them seemed to be that so many of them just kind of do the same thing the first movie did with different template, and so they say, oh people liked the dance-off in the first movie, so what’s our version of the dance-off? People liked “we are Groot” in the first movie, what’s our version of “we are Groot”? And instead of doing that, we really tried to let these characters grow and change. We want to watch them become new people and different people in every film that we come up with. And I think allowing them to be themselves and do their thing, I know that sounds strange because I’m writing what they say, but sometimes I’m just letting I happen inside my own imagination and letting the characters go where they wanted to go. I think the thing that I didn’t want to mess up was just trying to be a rehash of the first movie. I think people were surprised by the first movie, people have been surprised by the second film, and to give people something new and something different from what they already had.
From the opening scene of the film, you already get a different feeling than from the first film. And from James Gunn’s quote above he really wanted the “characters to grow and change”. Two characters that we see evolve in this film are Gamora and Nebula and their relationship. Karen Gillan who plays Nebula and Zoe Saldana who plays Gamora had this to say about their character’s relationship.
KAREN GILLAN: Yeah, the dark space of Nebula. I just feel genuinely so invested in this character, I care so much about her and I feel like I’m her lawyer and I’m here to explain to everyone why she’s justified in being a really mean villain and she is. And for me that is just to do with her back story and her relationship with her father and her sister and so I was just so excited to explore that in the second movie in such that I felt so lucky to get to portray that side of her.
ZOE SALDANA: I think that what I loved the most and it may sound selfish but definitely the relationship between Gamora and Nebula. I just, I’m one of three sisters. And so to have a film with three, three female characters that are adding such unique qualities to the film and they are very relevant and their relationships are explored deeply. I was appreciative and super excited and in a way anxious because I know that Gamora is a much more reserved character, so we couldn’t make it a soap opera like I would have wanted to. I wanted to be crying with nose goo and everything and James is like, “You’re like the Clint Eastwood of the movie”.
While relationships were explored more on-screen, one actor provides more time on-screen and behind the scenes. Sean Gunn’s character Kraqlin takes a more prominent role in this film and behind the scenes he is the stand-in for Rocket. Sean and Zoe both commented on Sean’s interesting role.
SEAN GUNN: Well, it’s interesting, you know, I mean… I played two roles in the movie. When you act there’s both the input and the output. The input is the work you put into it and what you do on set and then the output is what you see onscreen, so for me the input is very similar for both characters, but the output is, is totally different because it takes a whole team of people to make Rocket. So, you know, I’m just a member of that team. But yeah, it’s interesting in this movie because Rocket and Kraglin have a few scenes that they’re in together, so… so doing you know, like juggling the two things was a very strange and challenging experience for me. But I love it. I love both characters and I, you know, I’m just really grateful to be a part of it.
ZOE SALDANA: It’s amazing. I don’t think that, that people really understand that what Sean does just for the movie, like the references, like the intonation; he’s so limber as well, so he manages to get like to shrink and curl up and be this big, so he’s always like Rocket-size and he gives us all the passion and all the dynamic that we need to have from Rocket. Like nobody would be able to respond to Rocket the same way if Sean wasn’t playing him.
On both panels was the Kevin Feige – Producer, and while it was not clear to him why he was on both panels, humorously stating: “Why did I come on the panel twice?”. I am pretty sure it was for the rest of the cast to get confirmation on what they could or could not say about their upcoming roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; as they all looked to him before answering questions. That being said, Kevin Feige is the master at answering a question but not really answering a question to ensure that he never gives anything away. While the cast was asked multiple times about their characters’ futures, the only comment Kevin gave was “Although nobody else in this cast is allowed to talk about it, Rocket has encountered other Marvel characters.” That was it. Nothing more, just enough to keep you hanging on until you find out more later. Something he did comment on was Stan Lee’s presence in the film.
KEVIN FEIGE: Stan Lee clearly exists, you know, above and apart from the reality of all the films. So the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the jump gate sequence in Guardians was something very fun and James had that idea and we shot that, shot that cameo and loved it so much, you know, you see it a couple of times in the… in the movie and it wasn’t in for a long time and we put it back in towards the end of the process where he references that time he was a Federal Express agent and we thought it would be fun to put that and keep that in there because that really says, so wait a minute, he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films, is the same person.