James Gunn: 10 amazing bits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trivia that you NEED to know

Tom Butler
UK Movies Editor

With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ breaking box office records here in the UK ahead of its global launch tomorrow, we took the time to grill the film’s writer-director on some of the amazing trivia you’ll need to know after you’ve seen the film.

From the hidden message on Star-Lord’s t-shirt, to the ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Easter eggs you might have missed, here’s some amazing Marvel info-nuggets to astound your friends with after you’ve seen ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’.

Warning SPOILERS AHEAD…


Chris Pratt spent more time in make-up than Dave Bautista

Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer in GOTG Vol. 2 (Disney)

James Gunn also says that Dave Bautista’s gruelling make-up sessions for Drax have been cut down from 5 1/2 hours to just 90 minutes, so it actually takes Chris Pratt longer to get ready for shooting than Dave Bautista, despite the former wrestler being caked from head to waist in prosthetics.

Karen Gillan didn’t have to shave her head because they had a bigger budget

Karen Gillan as Nebula in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (Photo: Marvel)

Scottish ‘Doctor Who’ star Karen Gillan made headlines around the world when she revealed she’d shaved her head for the first film. For the sequel however, she managed to steer clear of the clippers completely – but how? It all comes down to money.

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“We used make-up that was fit better to her head,” Gunn told us, “But at the same time we also would have to take off part of the back of her head with CGI, so we had a slightly bigger budget for things like that.”

James Gunn would make Kurt Russell do 50 takes

Peter’s father (and father figure to Mantis), Ego is a cosmic being who can take on different forms. In the comics, he can manifest as a real planet. (Photo: Marvel)

The writer-director thinks he got better performances in ‘Vol. 2’ because he had more time and money to get things right. “There were times when I would have Kurt Russell says a line 50 times, that’s not abnormal at all for me, because I just wanted to get the performances as good as possible.”

Star-Lord’s t-shirt contains a hidden message

No, Peter Quill’s t-shirt doesn’t say “kebab bechy” (Marvel)

Peter Quill dons a distinctive t-shirt during the first half of the movie, and it’s now available to buy as merch for the film, but what does the alien writing actually say? It translates to “Gear Shift”, which is a brand of intergalactic candy that Star-Lord loves to scoff. Gunn says there’s always a ton of candy wrappers inside the Milano because he has such a sweet tooth.

James Gunn figures out the unique coordinates for each planet

Every new setting in ‘GOTG V.2’ is heralded on screen with a graphic showing the planet name, plus a bunch of random numbers and letters, but those numbers are NOT random says Gunn. “Those are different coordinates for different parts of the galaxy. That’s my job to put them in there.”

There are a number of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Easter eggs in the movie

Thor: Ragnarok  – Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster (Photo: Marvel)

We catch a glimpse of Jeff Goldblum’s ‘Thor 3’ character the Grandmaster during the closing credits of the film, but Gunn says we also get another ‘Ragnarok’ Easter egg earlier in the movie too. When Rocket, Yondu, Groot and Kraglin use the Milano’s (literally) eye-popping “hyperspace” capabilities, we see snapshots of a number of different planets and locales, including – we think – Sakaar, the gladiatorial planet seen in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

Grandpa Quill was cut from the film along with a lot more cameos

Grandpa Quill in the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (Marvel)

Gregg Henry returns as Grandpa Quill in ‘Vol. 2’ dancing during the end credit sequence, but he was also in a longer Earth-set street sequence that was cut from the film. “There is a street in the movie, but that street had a ton of stuff in it, a ton of Easter eggs, and I cut almost all of it from the movie. It was bummer that it was cut, because I had to cut some of my closest friends’ cameos from the movie.”

A deleted scene from Ego’s planet revealed a huge Star-Lord statue

Kurt Russell as Ego in GOTG V2 (Marvel)

Gunn says there weren’t too many deleted scenes on the film, but the one that he misses the most showed Ego’s dedication to his missing son in a big way. “We had a great statue scene that I like a lot, where Kurt Russell shows [the gang] this statue that he’s made of Peter and the gang that’s incredibly funny. It was just a joke scene that didn’t forward the plot.”

The opening dance number was incredibly complex

Baby Groot in the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ trailer (Marvel)

The first scene in the film shows the Guardians battling an inter-dimensional creature to the strains of ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’. It’s a single take with Baby Groot dancing in the foreground while the rest of the team fight the tentacled beast. “It was pretty intense. It’s one long shot, it took two years of planning and to put it all together, and it took a long, long time and a lot of work, and a lot of people.”

Ego’s planet was a huge VFX undertaking

Gunn says Kurt Russell’s home was especially challenging for the VFX department as it was made up of half a TRILLION polygons. “That’s an amazingly enormously complex visual effects set. It was extremely difficult.”

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is in UK cinemas now.

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