'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Starts Production; New Cast Additions Revealed Including Kurt Russell

Its hard to believe that it has already been almost a year and half since the Guardians of the Galaxy caught audiences by surprise and captured our hearts. Arguably one of the funnest comic book movies of the last few years, Guardians was a breath of fresh air for the dark Dark Knight-esque films Hollywood had become accustomed to. Well fans of the first film and the gang of space outcasts won't have to wait much longer, as the film's 2017 sequel has just started production.

Marvel Studios and director James Gunn made the announcement over at their website yesterday. As was expected, the original core group of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and fan favorite Groot (Vin Diesel) will all be returning for Volume 2. Other surprise returns include Michael Rooker's Yondu and Karen Gillan's Nebula, who both served more villainous roles in the first film. 
Now the real interesting part of the announcement is the mention of the new cast additions. These additions include Kurt Russell (Hateful Eight), Pom Klementieff (Oldboy), Elizabeth Debicki (Everest), and Chris Sullivan (The Drop). While its unknown just who these actors are playing yet, several rumors suggest that Kurt Russell will in fact be playing the role of Star-Lord's mysterious father. It's also been rumored Pom Klementieff will be playing the part of Mantis, a well known member of the Guardians in the comics. All of this remains to be seen though, so it should be taken with a grain of salt for now. 
Fans will also take note of the names from the original film that were excluded in this cast announcement, including those of Nova Corps. members played by John C. Reilly and Glenn Close, along with Benecio Del Toro's Collector. There's also the significant exclusion of Josh Brolin as Thanos, who director James Gunn has confirmed won't be appearing in the film. This may come as a big surprise to fans, but most will recall that the character played a very small role in the first film. Marvel is most likely saving the character's next appearance for the big two part Infinity War films. 
So are you excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? What characters do you think these new cast additions are playing? Let us know below!