In an exclusive interview with Empire, writer/director James Gunn has shed some light on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2. Gunn talked about Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father and whether or not we will see the return of Thanos on July 28, 2017.

Fair warning: the rest of this article contains some spoilers for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, so make sure you’ve seen the film before reading.

All we know about Peter Quill’s father from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is that he is an angel composed of pure light according to Quill’s mother (Laura Haddock), part of some ancient race that Nova Prime (Glenn Close) has never seen before, and a jackass according to Yondu (Michael Rooker). Today, straight from Gunn, we learned something that Peter’s dad is definitely NOT.

It’s definitely not the character who it is in the comics, I’ll say that much.

J’Son of Spartax has been eliminated.


Papa Star-Lord from Marvel’s comic book canon will not carry his patriarchal rank over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a little bit of a bummer since J’Son has recently developed into a fun, love-to-hate antagonist in Brian Michael Bendis’ current GOTG comic book run. Picture Twyin Lannister (Charles Dance) from GAME OF THRONES with a sense of humor.

While a few cries of outrage will be heard (or read) in certain corners of the internet today, this is one area of Guardians mythology that is fair game for a cinematic re-imagining. J’Son has only made a few dozen comic appearances since debuting in MARVEL PREVIEW #11 in 1977 and was not a factor in the Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning 2008 GUARDIANS run that produced the team lineup currently being used in the film franchise. J’Son is not the “Joker” of GOTG.

The identity of Peter’s new movie dad is now a state secret between Gunn and a few key Marvel operatives. Peter’s dad will, however, have some connection to the man he hired to retrieve his son in the first place. Gunn explains:

There have been a lot of documents passed around about who Peter Quill’s father is between a select two or three of us. That’s been part of the plan since the beginning, that’s something I had to work out before we shot the screenplay. We wanted to make sure Yondu’s place in everything made sense and it does, so it’s all very specific stuff.

The possibilities are wide open based on Yondu’s connections across Marvel canon. Remember that Yondu was a member of the original GOTG lineup in the comics that started back in 1969. That story was set in the 31st century and included the likes of Vance Astrovik, Charlie-27, and Starhawk. We actually discussed the possibility of Starhawk being Quill’s father on our most recent podcast.

Adam Warlock, whose cocoon can currently be seen inside the Knowhere lair of The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), is another possibility worth speculating over. We know he is semi-present in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he is a major player in the INFINITY GAUNTLET comic book event. Based on the scramble for Infinity Stones and the increased presence of Thanos we’ve seen in the MCU, there is little doubt Marvel Studios is planning to adapt that storyline for a future Avengers film. This does not guarantee Warlock’s involvement, but he is a possibility for now.

Whoever Peter’s father ends up being, that character is likely to receive more screen time than Thanos. Gunn is not guaranteeing The Mad Titan a role in GOTG 2 just yet.

He will show up [in the sequel] if he helps our story and he will not show up at all if not. Thanos is not the most important thing in Guardians 2, that’s for damn sure. There’s the Guardians themselves and other threats the Guardians are going to be facing that are not Thanos.

This is the right call. Thanos is going to be the primary antagonist in an eventual Avengers movie that will likely feature the Guardians. It is important that Marvel not over-expose the character to audiences before then. That said, Thanos is probably going to be in GOTG 2 given that he is a cosmic villain and GOTG is Marvel’s most cosmic franchise. There’s no better place to continue the Infinity Stones plot line. Even if it’s only in a post-credits scene, Thanos will be there.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is in theaters now and its sequel will arrive on July 28, 2017.