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'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' adds Kurt Russell, starts shooting

Your favorite space-faring misfits are gathering together for the "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel and it looks like baby Groot is growing.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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James Gunn/Facebook

Get ready to boogie down to the dulcet tones of "Hooked on a Feeling" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" once again. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" has started shooting.

Director James Gunn confirmed Wednesday that the Marvel sci-fi sequel is now in production, and announced some of the new cast members, including "Hateful Eight" star Kurt Russell.

"Official photography on 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,' has started, and I couldn't be more stoked," Gunn posted on Facebook, along with a teaser image.

The image shows our antiheroes in silhouette standing between some road cases like you'd see backstage at a rock concert. Star-Lord's eyes glow red and baby Groot has grown some roots and is standing on Drax the Destroyer's shoulder. You can almost hear someone declaring, "We're getting the band back together!"

Quirky sci-fi superhero movie "Guardians of the Galaxy" was a massive hit in 2014, topping $773 million at the global box office. Writer and director Gunn is just as excited as the fans are about the next chapter.

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"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," Gunn wrote.

In December, Russell confirmed that he had spoken to Gunn about a role in the film, but admitted that he was unfamiliar with the first movie.

"I don't know anything about it. I'm one of the four idiots who have never seen it, evidently," he told the HSH Podcast. "We talked to each other on the phone and I just had to be honest and say, 'Thank you for considering me, I have to read it and I have to watch the movie, because I can't bring anything for you. I got nothing to offer here.'"

In other casting news, Canadian actress Pom Klementieff will step into the role of Mantis, a green-skinned martial-arts master. Gunn confirmed this specific piece of casting on his Twitter feed.

"I never thought anyone was missing from our island of misfit toys, but now that these folks are here there feels like there was," Gunn said.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is set for release in May 2017. It also stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista and Michael Rooker.

The casting news and teaser image are a lot to absorb all at once. "We'll have more surprises for you in the coming months. But, for now, this will have to do," Gunn said to end his Facebook message. What we all really want to know is which retro hit songs will be included on Volume 2 of the Awesome Mix.

Update, 1:10 p.m. PT: Details were added throughout the story.

Parts of this story originally posted as "Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Adds Kurt Russell to Cast, Starts Shooting" on GameSpot.