Exactly a year ago today, director James Gunn started production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Now, we are just a few short months away from seeing Rocket, Drax, Star-Lord, Gamora and yes, Baby Groot on screen in the highly-anticipated sequel. To fuel the already burning excitement fire that most Marvel fans have going, the director has shared some brand new photos from the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.

James Gunn decided to share a behind the scenes photo from the first day of production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which features the director rehearsing with his brother Sean Gunn, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista. While the photo is a nice treat for Marvel fans, USA Today also stepped in and revealed a batch of new photos from the movie as well. Speaking with USA Today about the movie, James Gunn revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is going to be very true to what fans loved about the first movie. Here is what he had to say.

"The first movie was successful because we took chances and gave people the unexpected. This movie can only really be what it is, Guardians can only be what they are, if they're taking a risk. It means giving them a much different movie."

Additionally, the report confirms that this movie will be taking place just two months after the events of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. That is particularly interesting because that will easily be the shortest time gap between sequels for any movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. USA Today also got to talk a little bit with Kurt Russell about playing Ego the Living Planet, who is Star-Lord's father in the movie. Here is what he had to say about the character.

"Ego is the most powerful character I'm ever going to play. "I mean, he created himself! He's the real deal."

That's saying a lot, coming from a guy who has played as many strong characters as Kurt Russel has over the years. As for the photos, we get a good look at Pom Klementieff as Mantis hanging out with Drax. There is also a shot of Drax hanging with Star-Lord and a new shot of Yondu with Rocket and Baby Groot. There were also several behind the scenes photos from the production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as well.

Many of the principal cast members offered little insights into their characters, with Chris Pratt saying that "I don't know if Quill is ever going to be a fully functioning, responsible adult." According to James Gunn, Baby Groot is going to be driving Peter Quill and Drax crazy, so it is Rocket and Gamora who act as parents for him, with Zoe Saldana saying "She's surrounded by all these dudes who are so stupid half the time. She has to be the voice of reason." It was also revealed that Drax is going to befriend Mantis, who is Ego's confidant in the movie, with Dave Bautista saying that Drax "looks like this big tough brute but there's a sense of innocence and heartbreak about him." Saldana also talked a bit about the influence that Guardians of the Galaxy had on other movies that have come out since.

"It's given permission to so many other filmmakers to let these action movies not only have a little more heart and soul but to have a little more entertainment besides just, 'Crash! Boom! Bang! Blargh!' It makes me really happy."

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Karen Gillan and Michael Rooker. Marvel Studios is set to release the movie on May 5, putting it right in the heart of the summer blockbuster movie season. Be sure to check out all of the brand new photos from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for yourself below.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Photo 1

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Photo 2

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Photo 3

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Photo 4

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Photo 5