It looks like everyone from Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be returning for the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In addition to the eponymous Guardians, we knew that Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) were also coming back, which in addition to writer-director James Gunn confirming their return, made sense. They had grudges with Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), respectively, and Gunn could pick that up.
A larger question was whether or not Benicio del Toro would return to play Taneleer Tivan, The Collector. The character seemed to serve his purpose already, which was to act as a bridge between Thor: The Dark World and Guardians, and then provide a large swath of exposition regarding Infinity Stones. Aside from being an entertaining character, what greater narrative purpose could he serve? Is he still after the Infinity Stones? We know that Thanos is the big bad of the MCU, so why feel threatened by The Collector?
Whatever The Collector’s plan, Gunn hasn’t forgotten about him. Saldana confirmed del Toro’s casting on her husband’s Facebook page [via Latino-Review] in a video where she praised Sicario and the actor’s performance in the film. LR provided the Spanish-English translation of Saldana’s comments: “I’ll see you on Guardians!”
But how big will del Toro’s role be? He’s got two major sci-fi properties on the horizon that will be filming early next year: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Star Wars: Episode VIII. While we don’t know the size of his role for either movie, he’ll obviously be a great addition to both since he’s a great addition to every film he’s in. I just hope that Gunn uses him to keep us guessing about the Collector’s motives. While he’s not a “good” guy, he’s also not dominantly evil, and that can keep the audience guessing.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens May 5, 2017, and is set to start shooting in Atlanta in February.