As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 begins production (with a release date set for May 5, 2017), Disney has dropped the first image from the film featuring Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. One big revelation in the above image is that it appears as if the film begins with little Groot instead of big Groot. Does that mean it picks up right after the first one ended?

Additionally, Disney has officially confirmed that Kurt Russell has joined the cast, most likely playing Peter Quill's father. The sequel, once again directed by James Gunn, "continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage," according to the press release. Other new cast members include Pom Klementieff (Oldboy) as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Everest), and Chris Sullivan (The Knick, The Drop), not to mention returning cast such as Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula and Sean Gunn as Kraglin. 

Here's an official statement from director James Gunn…

"Official photography on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has started, and I couldn’t be more stoked.

My favorite movie as a small child was The Strongest Man in the World, so I’m glad to announce that, yes, Kurt Russell has joined our cast and, yes, he is more awesome a dude than I ever could have imagined.

The last few days around here with him and our other new cast members, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, and Chris Sullivan, have been some of the best of my life. I never thought anyone was missing from our island of misfit toys, but now that these folks are here there feels like there was.

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Glenn Close are all returning.

We’ll have more surprises for you in the coming months. But, for now, this will have to do.

I have to get back to set!

Have a great day, everybody."


Needless to say, this news has us all like…