It’s been almost two weeks since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters, which means the unofficial moratorium on spoilers has lifted, per the rules of the Internet. At least, it seems like James Gunn is okay with talking about them now, after his viral manifesto regarding spoiler culture and his anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
Massive spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ahead. You know the drill.
The writer/director held a Facebook Q&A to reveal the secrets behind his wildly successful superhero sequel, which has raked in more than $630.5 million worldwide. Gunn pulled back the curtain on everything from that final, heartwrenching Yondu scene, to alternate endings, reshoots, and that Stan Lee cameo.
Yondu is Really Gone
Gunn confirmed in the Q&A that he wrote treatments that didn’t include Yondu dying at all, but ultimately realized Yondu’s sacrifice was best for the story. I went into detail on Yondu’s death, Gunn’s grappling with its inclusion, and how that impacted the movie here.
But despite his initial balking, Gunn says that there’s no chance that Yondu will come back — despite the MCU’s tendency for deaths to be impermanent:
“Yondu is dead. I think it’s very important that in these movies, there are stakes within the films. I am not into this old school way of doing things, where you kill characters and you bring them back and then you kill them again and then you bring them back and their deaths mean nothing. Yondu is dead. It’s sad. There could be a prequel Yondu film or a flashback or something like that. Yondu could exist in the past, but he’s not going to come back to life, so long as I am involved with Marvel. It’s just not going to happen.”
At least Yondu got a worthy send-off that Gunn and Chris Pratt reshot as many times as possible to get just right — even if Michael Rooker kept falling asleep during Pratt’s emotional eulogy.
That Wasn’t Teen Groot in the Credits
Despite what many people think, that wasn’t actually teen Groot in one of the five post-credits scenes. The scene — which showed Groot going through his growing pains in his bedroom, ignoring Peter’s frustrated calls for him to clean his room and get off his video game — actually depicted “tween Groot”:
“That’s actually adolescent Groot. I would call him tween Groot. We call him adolescent Groot, he’s not quite teen Groot yet.”
Gunn also said that baby Groot in Vol. 2 didn’t retain any of the memories of Groot in the first film, and is a completely new character with different memories and personality traits. When we finally see a grown-up Groot in Vol. 3, don’t expect him to be the same Groot as in the 2014 film.
“It’s not just him becoming Groot from the first movie. He’s becoming his own Groot,” said Gunn.
The Stan Lee Cameo Had a Tiny Mistake
The Stan Lee cameo that launched — and confirmed — a thousand conspiracy theories, had a small gaffe thanks to the confusing chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Lee was seen regaling a group of aliens (specifically, Watchers) about his adventures. The cameo suggests that all of Lee’s cameos were connected, with him playing different characters while serving as a spy for the Watchers, the race of comic book aliens who chronicle notable events, but don’t interfere in them. The only problem: Lee mentions his guise as a FedEx guy from from Captain America: Civil War, which chronologically takes place after Guardians 2:
“I screwed up, I wasn’t thinking … but probably Stan Lee used the guise of a FedEx guy more than one time. It’s a mistake but it can be easily explained away.”
On set, Gunn shouted out suggestions for Lee to use, including his turn as a strip club DJ in Deadpool — which would have created an unprecedented and confusing connection between the MCU and Fox’s X-Men universe.
This Cut Scene May End Up on the Blu-ray
One of Gunn’s favorite scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, but he hinted that it may appear in the Blu-ray release for Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
The scene takes place when the Guardians first land on Ego’s planet, and he shows them a statue he made of them in preparation for their arrival. While Peter stands at the center in all his glory, the rest of the team doesn’t looks quite as accurate:
“It’s a statue that looks almost like a Frank Frazetta painting with a heroic Star-Lord sitting there looking really cool and great … but the rest of the Guardians look pretty terrible. So Gamora is a buxom woman holding onto his leg, looking up at him lovingly.”
Drax and Rocket meanwhile have morphed into one creature.
“There’s a little Drax standing on his [Peter’s] shoulder with a raccoon tail and Groot looks like a large brussels sprout. And that’s what they see, and Peter Quill thinks it’s the greatest statue and everyone else is not really impressed by it,” said Gunn.
The Final Post-Credits Scene Wasn’t an Infinity War Hint
One brief post-credits scene hints at a character that plays a large role in the comic book version of Infinity War, but Gunn nixed whispers that Adam Warlock will appear in the MCU film Avengers: Infinity War:
“Adam Warlock will not be in Infinity War … he will have a future in the MCU. But will it be in Infinity War? It will not.”
Of course, we already knew that: Adam Warlock was originally set to appear in Guardians 2, only to be cut when the script grew too unwieldy. It was strong implied that will be make his debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
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