"Really, it's just about walking forward in an elegant manner,"says Gunn. "When you go forward with a group of characters, that means you have to go forward. And going forward means you're understanding these characters in a new way, you're developing a new kind of story about their lives and who they are and where they're going. And if you're doing that, if you're walking forward, then you can't just repeat what you did before. That's going backwards. That's not understanding the character."
He cites the James Bond series as, with a few exceptions, a franchise that tends to stick to formula, which he's looking to largely avoid. "That's not a knock. It's a really fun series. But that's not what the Guardians are. The Guardians are going to continuously change. I think that some of the characters are probably worse than what we think they are, and other characters are better than we think they are. It's going to be interesting to learn a little bit about that as time goes on."
As for how much progress he's made on the sequel so far? "Well, I'm really inspired. The whole story is written. I'm very excited about it. And that's where it is. But the story point for me is, in a lot of ways, the most difficult thing. I feel like it's pretty strong. It's constantly shifting, but I feel like it's pretty strong. I'm excited about it."
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 is set to hit US cinemas on 5 May 2017, with the UK audiences enjoying a traditionally earlier glimpse on 28 April. The first film, meanwhile, was officially the second highest grossing film this year with an impressive $772,257,316*.
*The first was Michael Bay's Transformers: Age Of Extinction with an inexplicable $1,087,404,499.