Marvel Studios brought the last film installment in Phase II of its Shared Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron, to the 2014 Comic-Con in San Diego, along with the beginning chapter to Phase III, Ant-Man. However, there was curiously no presence for the studio's next release, the cosmic superheroes adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, which arrive in theaters next week. There was, however, some news about the Guardians sequel.
Guardians co-writer and director James Gunn recently said that he would be back to captain the ship on Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - should they sequel happen, he added at the time (wink, wink) - and Guardians co-writer Nicole Perlman later confirmed that Gunn will be scripting the Guardians followup to boot (again, assuming it's green-lit).
Well, we need wonder no longer, as the sequel was officially confirmed to be arriving in Summer 2017, via a video announcement by Gunn and Guardians star Chris Pratt that was shown to the Hall H crowd at the 'Con. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will arrive on July 28th, 2017, to be exact. That may seem a bit like putting the cart before the horse, but in between early positive reviews and awareness for the first Guardians installment having reached a fever pitch after a month of heavy marketing, there's reason to think that Marvel Studios isn't being presumptuous about giving Guardians of the Galaxy 2 the official go-ahead.
There are still two more release dates ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 that have been reserved for as-yet unannounced Marvel Studios films: one in July 2016 and one in May 2017. Doctor Strange seems the most likely candidate to snag the remaining 2016 release date, seeing how it already has a director in Scott Derrickson and a script well into development. Marvel Studios' plan moving forward is to release one established franchise installment, one new intellectual property film each year, which suggests that the May 2017 date won't go to another sequel. (The Inhumans, maybe?) Thor 3 seems likely for November of that year, though.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters on August 1st, 2014, followed by Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17th, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6th, 2016, unannounced films on July 8th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on July 28th, 2017, and unannounced movies on November 3rd, 2017, July 6th, 2018, November 2nd, 2018, and May 3rd, 2019.