From zeroes to heroes, to lots and lots of zeroes. The story of the original Guardians of the Galaxy took a bunch of mismatched space muppets (figurative, not literal) and smashed them together into a bizarro mix that, somehow, became one of the biggest hits of 2014. And now they’re back, for a sequel set to reset box office records all over again. “And who’d have thought that?” marvels nominal star Chris Pratt of what was Marvel’s biggest risk by a mile, and what has now become one of its most singularly beloved properties.
The group of characters – which includes Pratt’s Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Racoon, Dave Bautista’s Drax and, of course, Vin Diesel’s Groot – were always a niche sell in their first comic-book form. It was screenwriter and director James Gunn who translated their peculiar talents to a global audience. Previously, Gunn was best known for 2006’s gross-out horror Slither, but his affinity with this gang of intergalactic oddballs made the world fall in love with them.
Volume 2 – which is, of course, named mixtape-style to reflect the series’ signature funky soundtrack – is set shortly after the events of the first movie, at the end of which monster-tree Groot was famously thought blown to smithereens, but was then rebirthed as a tiny sapling. Expect Baby Groot to steal the show in style this time out.
As for Pratt, his Star-Lord will resolve a mission he’s been on for his whole life: to find his dad, here played by the iconic Kurt Russell. “He’s desperate to know who his dad is and dreamed his whole life that he was somebody special,” reveals Pratt. “So when he finally meets his bigger-than-life father, who’s been searching for him, it fills this giant void that he’s had in his heart his whole life. It’s life-changing.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in cinemas from May 4.