Are you ready for Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2? U.S. previews hit on Thursday May 4th. But before that red letter day, the film had already racked up over $100 million in foreign markets. And predictions are that the Vol. 2 will beat the $773 million earned by 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The further adventures of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Batista), with extra comic relief from Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot/Baby Groot (Vin Diesel). It is in your face, funny and jam-packed with killer CGI, plenty of action and makeup to die for. Guardians of the Galaxy has made rich actors richer and not so rich ones into millionaires. So, get ready to learn the secrets of the rich, famous, and talented stars of Guardians of the Galaxy. Everybody connected with the franchise is doing very well. Here are 15 of the richest stars connected to this successful Marvel Universe film franchise, from rich to richer to richest.
15. Michael Rooker – $2 Million
Michael Rooker is having a ball playing the blue villain, Yondu, in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Yondu is a kind of con man, but an almost lovable and funny one. When the big blue guy comes out with funny stuff, you half expect him to give you a wink. Rooker has currently traveled across the Marvel Universe and is doing his Yondu thing in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Our Michael has been around for a while, doing TV and movies, but entering the Marvel Universe has meant not only steady work, but more and more money. Anyway, he says that playing Yondu is just plain out fun. He gets to roll up at Comic Con in full makeup and costume. “I AM Yondu and don’t you forget it.”
14. Zoe Saldana – $14 million
As far as hot Latinas go, Zoe is right up there. After years of bumping around Hollywood, she hit the big time playing Neytiri in 2009’s Avatar. You may remember she was a blue creature/thingy in that one. Then, along came green alien Gamora in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. At the moment, she’s hanging with Michael Rooker, reprising her role as Gamora in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. In fact, she’s pretty much booked up for the next four or five years, between her gigs as Gamora and Neytiri. And being associated with both the Marvel Universe and the world of Avatar means…well…she’s getting richer and richer and richer. Apparently, her Gamora makeup takes hours. Just lie back and think of all those lovely millions, Zoe.
13. Dave Batista – $10 million
Guess what Dave Batista did in a former life? Wrestler? Got it in one. He was with the WWE for around thirteen years, fighting under the name of “Batista.” Batista plays the totally big Drax, who, along with Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot/Baby Groot, are out to beat the bad guys. And does he ham it up? Big time. Drax is the heavy artillery in the good guy’s arsenal. He’s wielding huge swords and even bigger guns and cracking heads. He is also coming up with some funny dumb guy lines. Drax is definitely not the smartest kid on the block, but he usually manages to win the day. After all, in real life, our Dave was the World Heavyweight Champion for nearly a year. And that’s a record in the world of WWE. He really is a nice, gentle guy…we think.
12. Glenn Close – $20 million
Glenn Close is a tough and handsome actress from a very old money family who played Nova Prime. Who? Nova Prime is also a tough and handsome woman with a weird blonde hairdo and a really ugly uniform. In fact, she is the no nonsense commander of planet Xandar’s Nova Force. And Nova Force’s thing is protecting Xandar and keeping the peace. In the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film, she does a lot of commanding and shouting and order-giving. Trust us, people do what she says…and fast. Believe it or not, Close has been making movies for over forty years. She was the nutso lover of Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction and Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians. And she’s the voice of Mona Simpson in The Simpsons. She’s one busy actress. We predict more and more and more millions for Glenn. She is totally good at playing tough, scheming chicks. Pity about the hairdo, though.
11. Chris Pratt – $30 million
Back in the day when he was on TV’s Parks and Recreation, Pratt was quite a bit heavier than he is now. He was seen as a small screen kind of actor. When director James Gunn was casting the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, someone suggested Chris Pratt. The director thought “pudgy TV actor” and said, no way. Same for Chris Pratt. He has said, “When Guardians of the Galaxy was pitched to me, I said, ‘I don’t think so.’ I just didn’t picture myself getting the role.” See, he had previously tried out for G.I. Joe, the movie that brought the action figure to life. His audition was a disaster. Pratt said that it was so bad that the director’s eyes glazed over. Big time embarrassment for the young actor. No wonder he was wary of playing Star-Lord. But, as the world knows, a slimmed down Pratt eventually took on the role. And fans are glad that he did.
10. Jeff Goldblum – $40 million
Jeff Goldblum is a lucky guy with a cool $40 million in the bank. Plus, he was married to Geena Davis for a while. And he hitched his wagon to a couple of gold mines, acting in both Jurassic Park and Independence Day franchises. In the new Guardians of the Galaxy film, he’s the Grandmaster, a guy with power and knowledge to boot. He’s not got much on-screen time in Vol. 2, but don’t worry, the Grandmaster and Jeff make up for it in Thor: Ragnarok. He totally rocks blue eyeliner, though. See, Grandmaster is one of the oldest living beings out there…like across the whole universe. Heck, he’s on the board of the Elders of the Universe. See, the Grandmaster is obsessed with playing games. Lots of games. Jeff and his millions are currently all loved up and married to a girl young enough to be his daughter. And we kid you not, she’s a contortionist.
9. Rob Zombie – $40 million
No, it is not his real name. Rob Zombie was born Robert Cummings way back in 1965. How can we describe the guy? He’s American, a musician, a filmmaker, and a screenwriter. And? Well, back in the day, he was a founding member of heavy metal band White Zombie. Most of his millions have come from his music, but he has done lots and lots of bit parts in movies. In Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, he is an unseen Ravager. That’s a kind of really nasty bad guy that Peter Quill and company are fighting. In real life, Rob’s things are horror flicks, heavy metal rock music, and tattoos. The guy is like a walking tattoo. Oh yeah. He likes making splatter movies. Think lots of slashing and splatter and screaming. Just your average guy next door. Not.
8. John C. Reilly – $45 million
John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy is kind of the adult leadership. He is the quiet voice of reason. With Chris Pratt cracking jokes and dancing and Rocket Raccoon and plant-thing Groot bickering all over the place, somebody has to play daddy. Or something like it. Reilly has a face that makes you smile. And he’s just as comfortable playing the getting-onto-serious Dey as he is playing a comic Dr. Watson to Will Ferrell‘s Sherlock Holmes. Yes, it’s supposed to be funny. Supposed to be. Reilly is a kind of reliable go-to character actor, as well as a funny man comic foil. And by all reports, he is also a nice guy. A nice guy with $45 million in the bank. Just an ordinary very nice multi-millionaire.
7. Benicio Del Toro – $45 million
A while back, rumor had it that the hunky Puerto Rican actor had done the deed with Scarlett Johansson in the elevator at Hollywood’s swank Chateau Marmont hotel. Well, they didn’t actually deny it. Now a 50-something Benicio Del Toro hit Hollywood as a hot young stud back in the 1980’s and has been pretty busy ever since. He was the mysterious Collector in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. And he has done his Collector weirdo thing in an Avengers movie or two. His character is into…well…collecting stuff. Del Toro’s $45 million comes after more than twenty years of hard work in films and TV. The guy’s not big on marriage and sharing his life or his millions. Although he did hook up with Kimberly Stewart (daughter of rocker Rod Stewart) long enough to produce a daughter.
6. Stan Lee – $50 million
Stan Lee is a legend in comic book circles. The former president and chairman of Marvel Comics has done it all. Heck, he created Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the X-Men and on and on. He’s also done cameo appearances in a lot of the films based on his creations. He turns up in both Guardians of the Galaxy films, first as a ladies man and then as an astronaut. Ladies man? The guy is in his 90’s. Lee says that with all he’s done, including being inducted into the comic industry’s Hall of Fame, people assume he is a lot richer than he actually is. But he considers himself the luckiest guy in the world. For much of his life, he’s done what he loved. And now, in his 90’s, he gets to hang around with A-List Hollywood types and play ladies men. Plus, he’s probably getting a little (or a lot) richer every day.
5. Kurt Russell – $70 million
60-something Kurt Russell is on a roll. He did a star turn in 2015’s Hateful Eight and steals the show as Mr. Nobody in 2017’s mega-blockbuster hit The Fate of the Furious. Plus, as anyone who has seen a trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 knows he pops up in a surprise reveal as Ego, Peter Quill/Star-Lord’s father. The fact that he was cast in the role was a carefully-guarded secret for ages. Gossips had a field day guessing who it would be. These days, Russell is apparently having a ball being camp and funny and droll in one blockbuster movie after another. Our Kurt has been loved up with actress/ comedian Goldie Hawn forever and while her career has peaked and waned, our Kurt seems to have gone from strength to strength. It’s hard to believe that he and his $70 million and Hawn and her $60 million have been in movies and on TV since the 1960’s. 50 years is a long, long time.
4. Bradley Cooper – $90 million
A while back, rumor had it that Bradley Cooper was a dud lover. Even worse, some said that while he was in the sack doing the deed, he came out with French phrases using a funny high-pitched voice. One woman reportedly said it was like being in the sack with Pepe Le Pew. Ouch. Jennifer Lawrence, his co-star in Silver Linings Playbook, said he was a wet kisser. Forget all that. He’s now all loved up with super luscious supermodel Irina Shayk. And Bradley and his funny voices are having a ball (and getting a lot of money) doing the voice of Rocket the “bad a**” Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Rocket is a walking raccoon in combat gear who adjusts his equipment as he walks along. You know, his manhood. Like guys do when they think you aren’t looking.
3. Vin Diesel – $100 million
Vin Diesel is everywhere you look. His considerable fortune comes from The Fast and the Furious franchise where he’s a hunky-street-racer-turned-thief, Dom Toretto. But in both Guardians of the Galaxy films, he is the voice behind walking plant/tree thing Groot and Baby Groot. After what happened at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, will Groot be back? Don’t worry. Whatever happens, Diesel has hung around to do totally cute and mischievous Baby Groot. Pardon the pun, but Baby Groot is a real chip off the old block kind of character. What? Vin Diesel doing a squeaky little voice? Yes! He says he loved it big time. Besides, Baby Groot has some of the funniest moments in the film. So our Vin had fun and made lots of money. A win-win situation.
2. Davis Hasselhoff – $110 million
TV has made David Hasselhoff a very rich man. He was a 1980’s super TV celebrity, with star turns in Knight Rider and Baywatch. OK. This bit has a spoiler in it. If you haven’t seen the film, you might want to skip this entry. Still reading? Well, get ready for a surprise. See, all through the new film, Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) tells love interest Gamora (Zoe Saldana), that he used to fantasize that 80’s superstar David Hasselhoff was really his father. Poof! Hasselhoff has a quickie cameo part that brings that dream to life. Hey, the multi-talented Hasselhoff even appears in the movie’s credits. Doing what? Rapping to a song about the movie’s story. It’s called “Guardians Inferno.” Check it out on YouTube.
1. Sylvester Stallone – $400 million
Who on earth do you pick to play Stakar Ogord (a.k.a. Starhawk), superhero and founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy? The guy is Marvel royalty. Let’s face it, he is a superhuman with superhuman everything. The rumors started a while back. The buzz was that Sylvester Stallone, the walking embodiment of Rocky and Rambo, would step into the role in Vol. 2. Then finally, after teasing fans for a while, director James Gunn announced Stallone was on board. Think you know all there is to know about Starhawk? Well, get ready for some big surprises, thanks to James Gunn’s creativity and Sylvester Stallone’s sense of fun. Stallone has one of the biggest fortunes in Hollywood. And if Starhawk becomes a regular fixture of the franchise, he’s only going to get richer and richer. $400 million and counting.