Although the majority of the main characters are returning for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there are a few who are not reprising their roles. In fact, there are two characters from the first film who are sitting the sequel out. With two spots freed up, is director James Gunn replacing them with members of the Fantastic Four?
According to Den of Geek, Gunn recently confirmed that John C. Reilly and Benicio Del Toro are not returning for their roles in the upcoming movie. Reilly played the part of Corpsman Dey while Del Toro portrayed the role of The Collector. Although the actors are not in the movie, Gunn stated that they might return to the franchise in a future film.
In fact, Del Toro made an appearance at the end of Thor: The Dark World. Although his role in future Marvel films has not been confirmed, fans can expect him to make another appearance as The Collector at some point in the future.
At the same time, Gunn recently participated in a Facebook Q&A session where he talked about the Fantastic Four. When asked about whether or not he would like to use some of the Fantastic Four characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn named a few he would love to see incorporated into the universe.
"I probably wouldn't add Ben Grimm to the Guardians team even if they were a part of the MCU. And of course I would love the FF to be a part of the MCU," he stated. "Fox owns so many great villains and cosmic characters I would love to play around with including Annihilus -- and I think they own Kang."
The only hurdle in adding the characters is that Fox currently owns their rights. However, according to Cinema Blend, the fact that the past few Fantastic Four films have bombed at the box office might open the door for Fox to release the rights back to Marvel.
In the comics, members of the Fantastic Four have already been incorporated into the Guardians team, including Grimm (The Thing).
As far as villains go, Gunn would have access to several big players, including Dr. Doom and Galactus, if Fox sold back the rights to Marvel. Of course, he would also have control over Kang and Annihilus, both of whom are important villains in the comics.
Annihilus, in particular, is a very attractive option for Gunn. This is especially true considering the character's ties with The Avengers. In the comics, Annihilus partnered with Thanos, who is also the big bad in Avengers: Infinity War Part I and II.
Meanwhile, WENN is reporting that filming for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently underway. The film stars Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close, and Vin Diesel. In a slight shift in focus from the first movie, the sequel centers on the story of Peter Quill's search for his father.
"At its heart, Guardians is a story about families," Gunn shared. "And if the first film was about him and his mother, this is a story about fathers. So it's exciting to go there."
Gunn added that he has known for quite some time which direction he wanted to take the film.
"Listen, I'm still excited about Star-Lord's character and where he goes," he continued. "I knew for a long time what the story of the second one was going to be and the third one!"
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is set to open in theaters on May 5, 2017.
Tell us! Which members of the Fantastic Four would you like to see pop up in Guardians of the Galaxy? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via Marvel Studios]