Although Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a risky property at the beginning of 2014, the film became one of the top grossing movies of the year and the third most financially successful Marvel Studios feature. Despite its independent success though, many fans have speculated about how Guardians will tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s larger story - especially the developing Infinity War.
Even before his film released, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was routinely questioned about a possible team up or crossover between his heroes and The Avengers. However, in recent interviews, the director stressed that the Avengers and the Guardians exist in two different corners of the MCU - the Avengers on Earth and the Guardians in the rest of the galaxy. Additionally, Gunn stated that Guardians and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are not “a prequel to Avengers 3 and 4.”
Now, Gunn has taken to Facebook to clarify some of his recent comments in regard to the possible Guardians/Avengers team up. Gunn’s post was in response to articles that took his comments as black and white statements: specifically that he had either confirmed a Guardians and Avengers crossover or that the team up would never happen.
The director explained in broad strokes why he has spoken so vaguely on the topic.
Read an excerpt from Gunn’s full Facebook post:
“Perhaps sometimes I say things imperfectly, unclearly, or inelegantly. All I've ever tried to say was the Guardians are an important part of the MCU, and they definitely share an existence with the Avengers and other characters in the MCU. But the week after the movie opened I walked into the Marvel offices, and I sat down with Kevin Feige and some of the other folks at Marvel. We had a long discussion about where the Guardians were headed and what was happening to them. I told them exactly what I wanted to do with the sequel to Guardians, and everyone was on board and excited. And, regarding the bigger picture, we all agreed on one thing, and that was to keep huge chunks of the Guardians separate from the Marvel heroes of earth, because they have a whole galaxy to explore. We wanted to use them as a way to make the MCU bigger, not smaller. We wanted to make sure they have their own mythos, as opposed to only one that is intertwined with the earthbound characters. They ARE connected, of course, but that connection would not be the purpose of their stories and fictional lives.
When I'm asked about the Guardians and their future, and whether they'll meet up with the Avengers I really don't have all that much to say, because some of it isn't decided yet, and I don't want to give away what is decided. So I speak in these general terms. They aren't things that I'm just saying on the spot, and they aren't things that have been decided on by me alone. But they are sometimes incredibly general, and that can lead to those words being taken in a lot of different ways.
So, I'm sorry for all the different ways my words have been taken. Overall, we'll just have to wait and see where the Guardians go, who they meet, and what they do in the MCU. But know that I love them and will take the best care of them I possibly can for as long as I'm around.”
It comes down to this: Gunn doesn’t have the final say on whether or not the Guardians will appear in The Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1, Part 2, or somewhere else down the line. As we’ve seen with previous instances, directors of Marvel movies have creative license to a certain extent, but each film must inevitably fit within Marvel Studios’ plan for the MCU.
Ever since he was first announced for Guardians, Gunn has applauded President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige’s approach and execution of the shared cinematic universe. But, as a director working within the MCU, Gunn is more focused on his own films: Guardians, Guardians 2, as well as - if it happens and he’s chosen to direct it - Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
Whether or not the Guardians appear in a film with the Avengers or in either Infinity War: Part 1 or Part 2 remains to be seen. Additionally, unless the Avengers are going to appear in one of the Guardians films, the announcement of a team up will likely come from a direct announcement - similar to Marvel's Phase 3 event.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1st, 2015, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5th, 2017, The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4th, 2018, and The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 5th, 2019.