Superhero sequels are a tough nut to crack in Hollywood, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has generally proved relatively successful at fleshing out established universes. The next story up to bat is James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and all signs seem to point to the upcoming film being an improvement over the beloved original. According to This Is Us actor Chris Sullivan (who is almost unrecognizable in his makeup heavy Guardians of the Galaxy role as Taserface), the film is better by virtue of the fact that it does not need to establish origins for its heroes. Sullivan elaborated:
I don’t want to make any promises, but I think it’s better than the first one. I would say it’s more fleshed out, just simply by the fact there was a first one. There’s no need to establish characters, so we get to jump right into the storylines of the main characters at a deeper level. But it’s equally funny, equally as full of amazing music, and, of course, that cast — the Guardians of the Galaxy are pretty hard to match.
Some superhero franchises benefit from the structure of an origin story (look at the differences between Thor and Thor: The Dark World for an example of that), but as Chris Sullivan recently pointed out to EW: Guardians of the Galaxy is not one of those film series. Much like the Captain America franchise’s transition to The Winter Soldier from The First Avenger, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes advantage of the fact that all of the vital elements were established in the first film, and gives its central characters room to breath and play around with one another.
Of course, that does not mean that we will not see some new characters enter the fray when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 finally debuts. With newcomers like Mantis and Ego the Living Planet set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Guardians 2 debuts on May 5, the film will still offer up plenty of origin stories and new elements for the returning cast to work with. The difference is that the movie will not lean on the origin aspect quite as hard as it did the first time around when Guardians of the Galaxy debuted back in 2014. That sounds like an improvement if you ask me.
Take a look at a trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 below for a closer look at the titular team’s upcoming adventure.
James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will hit theaters on May 5. Check out everything we currently know about the upcoming sequel to get yourself up to speed before the Guardians return!