Though Thanos's appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy connected the film to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to director James Gunn, the Mad Titan won't play as prominent a role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
"Thanos is not a big part of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," said Gunn in a video posted to his Facebook page. "We have a separate story we're telling...[Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2] is more about the Guardians universe, and although we're connected to the rest of the universe, and of course there's always a chance of the Guardians interacting with the rest of that universe, this movie isn't about leading up to that."
"This is about its own story. This is about the mythology of the Guardians themselves...We really wanted to just focus on the story of the Guardians, and Peter Quill and his father, and how that affects everything else with their lives."
As for who will appear in the sequel, Gunn was cagey at best, saying "Who knows?" when asked about whether Nova would appear, and shrugging off the possibility of more Howard the Duck. He did say that "several new characters, but not too many" would be added to the cast.
Gunn also revealed that he's seen an early cut of Captain America: Civil War, calling it "Incredible, one of the best Marvel movies ever."
"I'm trying to think about what's cool to say or not. But I will say this one thing; Tom Holland is off the charts awesome, truly. Hand on my heart, he's amazing."
Check out the video right here. There's some NSFW language.
Almost New Years Q&A and Thanos ft. Jennifer HollandPosted by James Gunn on Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 begins shooting in Atlanta in February for a May 5, 2017 release. Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6, 2016.