'The Avengers 2' Will Add One Or Two New Characters; James Gunn Will Rewrite 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Script

nullWith "The Avengers" headed to home video next week, Marvel Phase One now fades into the sunset, and Phase Two is already underway with "Iron Man 3" in front of cameras. And with a full slate over the next few years, under the stewardship of Joss Whedon, with "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Guardians Of The Galaxy" also on the way all leading towards "The Avengers 2," it's no surprise that the superhero roster is going to get bigger.

Though still developing, Marvel co-chairman Louis D'Esposito teased that some new names might pop up among the familiar faces of The Avengers. "…we discussed it at the time and I think in 'The Avengers 2' will see some new characters," he explained. "We're currently working on Phase 2 and we have 'Iron Man 3,' 'Thor: The Dark World' and 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier,' so we returned to those franchises to enlarge them, but I think in 'The Avengers 2' will see one or two new characters.” 

Let the rampant speculation begin! One would have to think that given the fervor around "Ant-Man" with Marvel already confirming a movie is on the way, and toying with releasing Edgar Wright's test footage, that one is a no brainer. But at this point, who really knows how Whedon and co. will map any of this out?

Meanwhile, "Guardians Of The Galaxy" is the non-sequel of the bunch that Marvel hopes will spawn into multiple movies. Last month they put it in the hands of "Slither" and "Super" helmer James Gunn, and it looks like he'll be taking a pen to it as well. The writer/director hit Facebook to formally confirm he's got the job. "Until now I haven’t said anything, because I’m trying to be less expulsive about this project than I am about the rest of my life. But last night I got the go-ahead from Kevin Feige to let you all know that, yes, indeed, I am rewriting and directing 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' " he said. "As a lifelong lover of Marvel comics, space epics, AND raccoons, this is the movie I’ve been waiting to make since I was nine years old. Kevin, Joss, and all the folks at Marvel have been amazing collaborators so far, and we’re committed to bringing you something majestic, beautiful, and unique."

The first draft of the script was by 3-time Black List writer Chris McCoy, but it makes sense to let Gunn take a pass and gear the film toward his sensibility. And certainly, a movie that features space raccoons and talking trees could use a dose of self-awareness.

So there you are. "The Avengers 2" lands on May 1, 2015 while "Guardians Of The Galaxy" will drop a bit earlier on August 1, 2014. [ComicBookMovie/ComingSoon]