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

Director James Gunn has been reinstated

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.

Recent updates:

  • Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 filming date revealed
  • Disney has reinstated James Gunn as director
  • Chris Pratt says James Gunn’s script is “off the chain”
  • Could Adam McKay be the next director of Guardian’s of the Galaxy?
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 will use James Gunn’s script, says Sean Gunn

When is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 out?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, production for film has now been put on hold (August 25) meaning the release date is now uncertain.

In March 2019, Disney reinstated James Gunn as director more than six months after firing him over historic offensive Tweets.

Deadline reported that Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn has met with Gunn several times over the course of the past year and has since been persuaded, by Gunn’s public apology and handling of the aftermath, to rehire him.

Prior to his sacking, Gunn 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.

Has filming started yet?

No, which given the back and forth over the film’s director is understandable. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Guardians 3 will begin filming in summer 2020. It’s worth noting this could be pushed back if there any delays on DC’s The Suicide Squad, which will also be directed by James Gunn. IMDB.com lists Guardians 3 as being scheduled for release sometime in 2022, while the DC movie will be in cinemas on August 6, 2021.

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 previously 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. But it remains to be seen whether this will remain the case when a new director comes in.

What’s the plot?

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

In the same Facebook post, Gunn said 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.”

Meanwhile, a newly released deleted scene from Avengers: Infinity War could provide a clue about the next Guardians of the Galaxy film. Originally shown to fans at San Diego’s Comic-Con, the scene shows the Guardians receiving a string of important coded message – but missing them. Both Star-Lord and Drax are arguing over some music before Mantis interrupts, noting the flashing light.

You can watch the clip here:

Despite Disney’s initial sacking of director James Gunn following historic tweets which were unearthed online, the studio is still using his script for the third and final film in the trilogy, according to his brother Sean Gunn.

Sean, who plays Kraglin, spoke to Tulsa World, revealing: “I don’t really know yet what’s going on with Guardians 3. I know that Disney still wants to make the movie.

“I know that they have every intention of using the script that my brother wrote. Obviously, that was a very unfortunate situation for everybody, most of all him, but I am also somebody who had been preparing to spend half a year making that movie and now that’s up in the air.”

After Gunn was sacked in 2018, the Guardians of the Galaxy cast issued a joint statement supporting Gunn, with Chris Pratt adding he would “love to see him reinstated as director”. Meanwhile, actor Dave Bautista slammed Disney for the sacking.

Pratt has since reiterated that Gunn’s script is being used. “It’s off the chain, it’s so good,” he told MTV News. “We’re gonna deliver the movie. We’re gonna give the fans what they deserve. It’s in the nature of the Guardians Of The Galaxy to get the job done, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Is it the last film in a trilogy?

Yes.

Writing on Twitter, a fan asked director James Gunn: “please never stop making Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Keep it going as long as possible, please! I love these characters.”

To which he replied: “Thanks – but Vol. 3 will end the trilogy.” See the exchange below.

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, except possibly Dave Bautista.

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 even joked with Gunn about appearing in the film during a Twitter exchange.

Gunn said that Vol 3. will mark the end of the Guardians “in this iteration”. One fan wrote on Twitter: “All these people getting upset when they aren’t reading carefully enough: “Volume 3 will end the trilogy.” Yeah, a trilogy usually means 3. Mr. Gunn could make more beyond the trilogy…” to which Gunn replied:

“Well I mean Vol 3 will end this iteration of the Guardians and complete the story of the three films.” See that tweet below.

After Gunn’s first firing, Dave Bautista indicated that he would be prepared to step down from the franchise if the director’s script was also ditched. He said: “Where I’m at right now is that if [Marvel] don’t use that script, then I’m going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me. I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”

Speaking to The Jonathan Ross Show about his future in the franchise, Bautista cast more doubt on his return. When asked by Ross if he would return, Bautista said: “It’s a bitter-sweet conversation — um, no it’s a bitter-bitter conversation because I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn.”

He reiterated that the movie was being put off, stating that it was now “on hold indefinitely.” He added: “to be honest with you I don’t know if I want to work for Disney.” You can watch the full interview here:

Before Gunn was reinstated in March 2019, there werre rumours that Adam McKay might step into the director’s chair. As reported in Empire, McKay spoke to the Happy Sad Confused podcast and said that he had been having conversations with Marvel for some time. He also mentioned that he’d find it hard to turn down the role of directing Guardian’s of the Galaxy if it were offered to him. McKay has worked on a string of movies including Ant-ManAnchorman and the upcoming Holmes and Watson movie.

Adam McKay attends a special screening of “Step Brothers” on Monday, July 21, 2008, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

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.