Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN -

‘VOL. 1’ WAS Mar­vel Stu­dios’ big­gest gam­ble to date, zip­ping into space to hang with a gang of lit­tle-known char­ac­ters. And, boy, was it a hit.

Vol. 2 has all that suc­cess to trade on. And writer-di­rec­tor James Gunn feels con­fi­dent. “I don’t wake up at three in the morn­ing won­der­ing if I’m mak­ing Pluto Nash 2 any­more,” he laughs. “Now we have char­ac­ters that a lot of the world loves, there’s a cer­tain amount of anx­i­ety I don’t have this time around.”

Gunn is re­luc­tant to share spe­cific plot de­tails for his space-caper se­quel, but does con­firm that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Star-lord (Chris Pratt) and his long-lost fa­ther (Kurt Rus­sell) is cen­tral, while much of the movie’s con­flict and com­edy comes from ex­plor­ing how this group of re­jects learn to co­here as a unit. “They’re out­siders within a fam­ily,” Gunn says. A fam­ily, that is, with a baby Groot. For­get sci­ence-fic­tion. This is do­mes­tic drama with a dif­fer­ence... DAN JOLIN

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