James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is going to be a key cog in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When the first Guardians of the Galaxy film was released by Marvel Studios in 2014, one of its greatest accomplishments was how it managed to introduce an entirely new team of fully developed characters in their own standalone story, that also set up important elements of other Marvel films still to come. Now, fans are anxiously awaiting the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which will be the second installment in the standalone Guardians franchise, as Marvel begins to release its final batch of films before Phase 3 comes to an end next year with Avengers: Infinity War.

However, despite its unique placement in the studio’s release slate, and its ability to set things up on the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, writer and director James Gunn has remained adamant about the story and events of Vol. 2 being completely separate from the rest of the Universe’s characters and films. Early reactions to the film appear to only back that claim up, though, it looks like the film’s third installment may have a very important job when it’s released.

While speaking with THR about the state of Marvel today, the studio’s head, Kevin Feige, praised Gunn’s talent as a filmmaker. Feige then went on to discuss just how involved Gunn and the other Marvel veterans have become in the entire fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now, backing up Gunn’s claims that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will set up the next decade of Marvel films after Infinity War:

“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 has them and just continues to come up with them, which is cool. All of our core writers and filmmakers know what we are doing in other places and help give input on the various projects.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Empire Photo Cropped Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Sets Up Next Decade of MCU

This news, of course, comes following James Gunn’s announcement yesterday that he would be returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3 for Marvel Studios, answering a question that fans have been constantly asking him for several years now. But even with that being said, it’s hard to know for sure what Feige might be getting at with these comments, if he’s just talking about how in synch all of the Marvel filmmakers – including Gunn and the Russo Brothers – are with each other, or is teasing Gunn’s heavier involvement in some possible future projects for the studio.

The fact that not much is truly known about the future of the MCU past Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t help in figuring these comments out either because, really, when the untitled fourth Avengers film is released, Marvel will have a fairly blank slate of movies to release. In fact, the only titles that have been confirmed to be coming after those films are the second standalone Spider-Man movie from Sony and Marvel, and now, Guardians of the Galaxy 3. How exactly the latter sets up the rest of the films altogether should be interesting to see, especially as the scope and style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe only continues to grow and diversify.

MORE: Early Reactions to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Source: THR

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