After storming the global box office last week with a take of more than $200 million and counting (it had the biggest August opening in US history), Guardians of the Galaxy fans immediately started asking what's next for these new Marvel heroes. Since it's set in space, crossover possibilities with the Avengers aren't obvious (except perhaps Thor), so the filmmakers have a lot of leeway as they move forward.

Guardians of the GalaxyGuardians of the Galaxy could prove to be a mega-franchise

Director-cowriter James Gunn will be back for the sequel, but it's producer Kevin Feige who coordinates the all of the films set in the Marvel universe (except Sony's Spider-man and Fox's X-men franchises). Feige admits that the biggest question for the Guardians moving forward centres on Chris Pratt's Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. Namely: who is his father? The film tantalisingly teases this question at the very end, and Feige has admitted that the answer "would certainly be part of a next Guardians adventure". 

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Another dangling thread is the survival of Karen Gillan's Nebula, the villainous sister of Zoe Saldana's Gamora. Nebula exits the film in fine Star Wars style, minus one hand, and Feige says, "If people know the comic lore, Nebula has a lot of varying different roles to play over the course of a lot of different titles in the comics. We have somebody like Karen, and you have a look that is so weird and so great. So I think that's something we'd all like to see again."

Finally, there's the background baddie Thanos, a god-like villain referred to in other Marvel movies and seen briefly for the first time in Guardians. Voiced by Josh Brolin, Thanos is already slated to have a major role in other Marvel films, possibly Guardians 2 and/or Avengers 3. "The truth is, anything I say would be a spoiler," Feige says. "The fun of our universe is that the characters can pop up in multiple franchises."

Watch the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer: