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It’s a giant space creature in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’ concept art

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We have just shy of nine months to go before Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy return in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, but director James Gunn has been keeping fans excited with a steady flow of commentary and hints about what he has planned for the sci-fi sequel, as well as some new concept art he revealed this week.

The art debuted in the latest issue of Empire Magazine, and features the cast of returning characters engaged in a high-flying battle with a massive, tentacled beast with a mouth filled with rows upon rows of sharp teeth. The team soars into the sky using jetpacks, with guns — and for Drax, knives — drawn and ready.

Gunn posted the art on Twitter without any context for the scene — prompting no shortage of speculation about whether we’d see something similar in the May 2017 sequel.

First digital look at #GotGVol2 concept art shared in the new @empiremagazine. Have a great week, all! #GotG

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 22, 2016

The art also prompted some questions from fans about the characters’ ability to breathe in space, to which Gunn responded in a series of subsequent posts.

Um, it’s night time.

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 22, 2016

You guys are driving me crazy thinking dark skies & stars are space. Do you hold your breath on clear nights?

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 23, 2016

Written and directed by Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 brings back Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) as Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) as Gamora, Dave Bautista (SPECTRE) as Drax, Vin Diesel (Furious 7) as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) as the voice of Rocket Raccoon, Michael Rooker (Slither) as Yondu, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) as Nebula, and Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Kraglin.

Newcomers to the franchise who will make their debut in the sequel include Pom Klementieff (Oldboy), as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby) in an unspecified role, and Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight) as Ego, Peter Quill’s father.

Little is known about the plot of the sequel, only that the mystery of Peter Quill’s parentage will be one of the key narrative threads in the film.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5, 2017.

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