Guardians Of The Galaxy 3: what we know so far about the next chapter in the Marvel series

James Gunn has confirmed he's back on board as writer/director

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 may only have just come out, but there’s already plenty of information already in circulation about the third film in the Marvel series. Here’s everything there is to know so far.

When is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 out?

2020. 

In January 2018 James Gunn replied to a fan question about the film by confirming it’d be out in 2020.

Prior to this he said the film would be “[catapulting] both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years”. It’s likely that the third film in the Guardians trilogy will be the launchpad for what Marvel is calling ‘Phase 4’ – this means the next big chunk of Marvel films – and to put it in context, we’re about to enter the meaty bit of Phase 3, which includes Black PantherInfinity War and the fourth Avengers film.

When will Guardians 3 be set?

After Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet untitled Avengers 4

Responding to a fan’s question on Twitter, director James Gunn said: “Vol. 3 will take place after Avengers 34.” On Facebook, too, Gunn wrote: “Much of what’s happened in the MCU for the past 10 or so years has been leading, in a big way, to the Avengers’ Infinity War. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will happen after all that.”

To put this in context, Guardians Vol. 2 is set four years before Infinity War – so Guardians 3 will be set several years after Vol 2.

What’s the plot?

It’s probably all under wraps until Avengers 4 is out in 2019 – but Gunn has teased that it will start some kind of seismic shift in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the same Facebook post, Gunn says the film “will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond. I will be working side-by-side with Kevin Feige and the gang to help design where these stories go, and make sure the future of the Marvel Cosmic Universe is as special and authentic and magical as what we have created so far.”

Is it the last film in a trilogy?

Probably.

At the Guardians Vol 2 premiere, director James Gunn said: “It will be the final [film] in this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy.” But Kevin Feige, the Marvel boss, says there may be more from this cohort of Guardians: “I think James in particular has an amazing connection with these characters and with this cosmic world. So he, I think, could easily oversee additional stories beyond Vol. 3. And I think he has them and just continues to come up with them, which is cool.”

Who’s in Guardians 3?

Probably everyone from Guardians 2.

At the Guardians premiere, Zoe Saldana said: “I don’t even know if I’m in it,” gesturing to Gunn and adding: “Ask him when you interview him.”

We don’t know exactly, but we can assume the main players survive the next couple of Avengers films thanks to something Gunn wrote in that same revelatory Facebook post: “So, yes, I’m returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In the end, my love for Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Star-Lord, Yondu, Mantis, Drax, and Nebula — and some of the other forthcoming heroes — goes deeper than you guys can possibly imagine, and I feel they have more adventures to go on and things to learn about themselves and the wonderful and sometimes terrifying universe we all inhabit. And, like in both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, we will work on creating the story that goes beyond what you expect.”

Gunn has specifically confirmed that Pom Klementieff will return as Mantis.

Mark Hamill has even joked with director Gunn about appearing in the film during a Twitter exchange. Watch this space…

Who will be the ‘big bad’?

Probably Adam Warlock.

Thanks to Gunn saying all that about Guardians 3 kicking off the next 10 years of Marvel films, it looks like we’re going to be seeing another huge Marvel villain in the film. And fans think it’s going to be Warlock because Marvel boss Kevin Feige has already spoken about the character in relation to this film. “[Adam Warlock’s arrival] will not be until Guardians 3,” he told io9. “Adam is not a part of Infinity War, which of course he is in the comics, but James [Gunn] did always really like Adam Warlock, and our version of Infinity War is the culmination of all the stories we told up to this point. James has had ideas to introduce Adam — certainly there were ideas in Vol. 2, maybe even in part one, but part two for sure — which were great, but the way the story was coming together, there just wasn’t time for that.”

Who is Adam Warlock?

He’s a big deal in the ‘cosmic’ part of the Marvel universe, where he’s both a good and bad guy. His dark side is called Magus, which gets dangerous if and when he gets hold of the Soul Gem – one of the Infinity Stones that Thanos is after in Infinity War. See a full explainer below.

Have we seen Adam Warlock in a Marvel movie before?

We have, twice – he’s briefly (and officially) introduced in a post-credits scene for 2017’s Guardians Vol 2. But we actually saw him before that, in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World  – and this was a mistake, according to James Gunn.

In a mid-credits scene for that 2013 Thor film – a scene directed by Gunn, in fact – we see Warlock’s cocoon inside the Collector’s museum with a Chitauri soldier and Howard the Duck. Gunn now says putting the cocoon there was an error: “I made a mistake in the first one, because I put something that looks like Adam Warclok’s cocoon in the Collector’s museum. For me, at the time, I was just making up fun stuff to put in the Collector’s museum. I didn’t know how seriously people were gonna take the Easter eggs.”  We’ll be meeting Warlock properly in Guardians Vol 3.