While Marvel was releasing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's very first teaser image and officially confirming that shooting is underway for 2017, director James Gunn was quietly announcing the role of a new actress in the film.
Gunn was able to reveal that French actress Pom Klementieff will be playing the role of Mantis, a character first introduced in the pages of Avengers in 1973.
. @PomKlementieff is playing Mantis. As for the rest, you’ll have to wait. https://t.co/NG7ZYGj0YS— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 17, 2016
In the way of many minor Marvel characters from the '60s and '70s, Mantis' backstory is, well, complicated. There's some mind wiping in there, some Oh They Didn't Turn Evil That One Time It Was Just a Clone business, some later reveals of secret alien origins to a character thought to be human — but in a nutshell, Mantis is a telepathic martial artist who, in recent appearances, also has some pre-cognitive abilities and a psychic affinity with plants. She's also green and has antennae.
A character of mixed Vietnamese and German ancestry who was raised on Earth, she was also identified by the Kree as the "Celestial Madonna," a woman capable of mating with the eldest of a race of plant aliens in order to produce the "Celestial Messiah." Her life as a superhero involved a lot of martial arts, becoming an Avenger, having crazy space adventures, turning green, eventually giving birth to a plant baby after all and other kinds of Brilliant Comic Book Nonsense. She's been associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy since 2008, when she joined the group, using her telepathic abilities to serve as as team counselor.
Gunn has promised more additions to the Guardians in the sequel, as well as more screen time for female characters. But, he's also stated before that he wants to keep Peter Quill (Star-Lord) as the only human on the team for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, so we can expect that Mantis' origin will be shifted off-world for the movie. Let's just hope that she doesn't show up expecting to shack up with tiny Groot.
Wait, actually, that could be pretty funny if played the right way.