Two weeks after its release date and over $300 million later Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is clearly a gamble that has paid off. Even after the science fiction film’s first trailer dropped fans remained skeptical through all of the hype. They questioned whether or not such a relatively obscure property to be made into a successful and faithful mainstream property. For most fans all the worry was laid to rest after Guardians of the Galaxy‘s opening weekend brought huge box office numbers and an overwhelmingly positive critic and fan reception. Now that comic fans and moviegoers alike have been introduced to the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) questioning the direction of the now confirmed sequel is fair game.
A few things are concrete so far, one obviously being confirmation of a sequel by Marvel Studios and the “The Guardians of the Galaxy will return” message right before the credits. Director James Gunn has also confirmed that the sequel will delve into more background on Peter Quill’s father who most likely will not be the same character as he is in the comics, as well as the fact that MCU big bad Thanos will not necessarily appear. Perhaps most exciting for fans is Gunn’s confirmation that one of The Collector’s items seen in both the end button of Thor 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy was in fact the cocoon of cosmic powerhouse Adam Warlock. Adam Warlock is a character often tied closely to Thanos and the Infinity Gems/Stones so his inclusion in the sequel seems to be a no brainer to many.
As for what villains may challenge the newly minted Guardians, the guessing games have begun. The Collector played a relatively small role in Guardians of the Galaxy, but with his extensive comic book history and disastrous run-in with our heroes in the first film it does not seem out of the question for Benicio Del Toro to return in an even more antagonistic capacity. During The Collector’s explanation of the Infinity Gems images of a celestial being were shown wielding the power gem/stone so it seems that nothing is too large-scale for Marvel to explore.
Now that the Kree race of aliens has been established in the MCU much speculation has been given to their mortal enemies in the comic books, the Skrulls. Despite the film rights to the Super Skrull character belonging to Fox due to his connections to the Fantastic Four, Marvel Studios can indeed still use the war-mongering shape changer Skrulls. A conquering alien race could be a good excuse for the Nova Corps to give the Guardians of the Galaxy a call, and maybe with a few new members like Mantis, Moondragon, or Cosmo the Russian cosmonaut dog that we saw get a cameo in Knowhere.
With James Gunn’s confirmation that the Guardians will indeed cross paths with the Avengers eventually and more and more Infinity Stones being uncovered it seems that Peter Quill and company are destined to clash with Thanos, the mad Titan. Until that point however Marvel Studios has a massive universe to explore with their sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy.
Opinion by Matt Isaacs