Earlier this month I asked a rhetorical question about the James Bond franchise. What would we lose as a community or a culture if a final, irrevocable pledge was made by producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to never make another 007 film again, to just walk away and leave it forever? Allow me to ask the same question about the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Suppose that director James Gunn and star Chris Pratt and all the producers suddenly said, “We don’t really need the money, and the audience doesn’t need another Guardians movie…admit it. The first Guardians was fine. Where is it written that we’re obliged to fuck things up with a sequel? Even if we made a half-decent film, who would really care at the end of the day? The crowd would pay to see it, eat their popcorn, have a good time, quietly fart a few times in their seats and go home. Can we be honest? We don’t have a single half-decent idea for the sequel yet. Not one. But we’re making it anyway because we all want second homes.”

As Jean Anouilh once wrote, “I’m afraid we can only do, absurdly, what it has been given to us to do. Right to the end.”