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

Sean Gunn has confirmed Disney will use James Gunn's script: "I know that they have every intention of using the script that my brother wrote"

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: Vol. 3 will use James Gunn’s script, says Sean Gunn
  • Dave Bautista has said he is unsure about returning for the next instalment of the franchise: “I don’t know if I want to work for Disney”
  • Production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 has been put on hold
  • More cast members come out in support of James Gunn following Disney’s sacking of the director

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. Crew members who had been assembling for production have been dismissed and are now free to look for new work.

The Hollywood Reporter also quoted a source close to the project who has said “the timeline has been pushed out” as both Disney and Marvel temporarily “regroup” to consider the future of the project following the controversial sacking of director James Gunn in July.

In January 2018, the film had an initial release date of 2020, after James Gunn replied to a fan question about the film’s release.

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.

But Gunn was fired by Walt Disney Studios in July 2018 after a series of controversial tweets he allegedly wrote in the past surfaced online.

Amid the controversy and backlash to that decision, it’s claimed that Gunn could return after all.

According to Deadline, Marvel Studios bosses are lobbying their partners at Disney in an “eleventh hour approach” that will bring Gunn back to working on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

At present, Disney and Marvel haven’t commented on the latest reports and there’s no full indication of whether Gunn would return as director, or in another new role entirely.

Over the last week, there have been numerous reports about other major Hollywood studios that want to work with Gunn if he’s able to free himself from his contractual obligations with Disney — perhaps the House of Mouse feels it acted too hastily in response to a campaign from right-wing agitators?

The Hollywood Reporter have reported that a source close to the project has revealed Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has recently met with Marvel, although it is unclear what project was discussed.

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 sacking director James Gunn following historic tweets which were unearthed online, they may still be 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 the director was sacked, 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.

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, former 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 firing, Dave Bautista has indicated that he would be prepared to step down from the franchise if the director’s script is 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 has now 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:

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.