One of the most well-received elements of James Gunn’s recently released “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” was the introduction of Mantis (played by Pom Klementieff).
However there was one person who wasn’t a fan, the character’s creator Steve Englehart who recently told Polygon that he was unhappy with the way his character was written for the screen even as he enjoyed the actress’ portrayal:
“Well, I was not happy with Mantis’ portrayal. That character has nothing to do with Mantis. I will say that I liked the film quite a bit overall, they’re doing good stuff and I enjoyed my night at the movies so long as I turned my brain off to the fact that that’s not Mantis up there.
I really don’t know why you would take a character who is as distinctive as Mantis is and do a completely different character and still call her Mantis. That I do not know… I wasn’t impressed with what they did with Mantis but the Mantis on the screen was entertaining, I liked her but that’s not Mantis.”
The character in the comics has the same psychic empathy trait as the one in the film. In the comics though she’s actually an Earthwoman and former prostitute of Vietnamese and German descent who is turned green at a point.
Speaking of ‘Guardians,’ James Gunn has taken to social media to discuss some of the stories about the movie in the lead up to its release.
Last year, set photos revealed a cameo by Nathan Fillion playing actor-turned-superhero Simon Williams in a series of movie posters that served as set dressing in a scene set on Earth. Fillion didn’t show up in the film, and Gunn explained why:
“(Nathan’s) been in every movie I’ve directed – even as a monstrous, perverted voice in Guardians of the Galaxy. I didn’t have a good cameo for him in Vol. 2 – and I wanted to bring him more fully into the MCU at some point, so I didn’t want to make him Aakon Guard #2, narrowing his chance of a more substantial role in the future.
I really do love the character of Simon Williams/Wonder Man in the comics – a sometimes douchey actor/superhero – and could see Nathan clearly in that role (not because he’s a douchebag but because he’s great at playing one).
But, of course, in a movie set 99.9% in space I didn’t really have a place for him. So in a small flash to earth I decided to put a theater playing a ‘Simon Williams Film Festival,’ with six Simon Williams movie posters outside. Obviously, from the posters, he’s had a run of B movies. Most of them in themselves are Easter eggs of some sort or another.
Unfortunately, the small section of the scene where they appeared slowed down the movie and I had to cut the Easter eggs from the film (along with storefronts named after comic book luminaries Starlin, Mantlos, Annett and others). Nathan’s only cameo in the movie ever were these posters. I’ll post them all over the next few days. And, yes, I think we can consider them canon for the MCU, and I hold onto hope that Simon Williams will rise again!!”
Gunn also revealed that a social media posting of actor Michael Rooker indicating he was visiting the set of “Avengers: Infinity War” in Georgia was a deliberate bit of subversion. Rooker isn’t in the film, rather it was done to put people off the scene of the events at the end of the second ‘Guardians’.