Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will reportedly begin filming a little earlier than originally expected. The film, which looks to conclude the story of Marvel's ever-popular cosmic team, was at one point going to start production in January 2019 in order to meet a hypothetical 2020 release date. However, that was before writer/director James Gunn was controversially fired from the project last summer, which put Guardians 3 on indefinite hold. The film remained in standstill for several months, until Gunn was surprisingly rehired earlier this year.
As great as it is that Gunn will be back to finish the trilogy he started back in 2014, he isn't immediately jumping back into the Marvel realm. While Gunn was officially off Guardians, WB brought him in to direct The Suicide Squad, which is currently planned for a 2021 release. Since Gunn isn't going to rush his DC commitments to return to the MCU as quickly as possible, this meant it'd probably be some time before Guardians 3 got in front of the cameras. But fortunately, it now looks like Gunn will be able to reunite with Star-Lord and friends sooner than anticipated.
According to THR, the third Guardians film is targeting a 2020 start date, which is earlier than the February 2021 window that was reported in late March. Unsurprisingly, all of the core cast from the previous movies are ready to return.
It should be noted that THR's Heat Vision has gotten small details such as this wrong in the past, but things may pan out this way for Guardians 3. At first glance, the wonky schedule seems difficult for Gunn to maintain, though it doesn't seem so farfetched upon a closer look. The Suicide Squad, which is currently casting and is already being storyboarded, is said to begin production in September 2019 (roughly two full years before its release date). Theoretically, that would give Gunn enough time to film Suicide Squad, take a little break, and then shift gears to Guardians later in 2020. Guardians 3, of course, had a completed script and was well into pre-production when Gunn was fired. Considering nothing major changed, Guardians 3 might be able to start back up relatively quickly, picking up where Gunn left off.
Overseeing two massive films simultaneously (in this scenario, Guardians 3 is filming a year before Suicide Squad hits theaters) is a tricky thing to pull off, but something that's been done in the past. Steven Spielberg has done it multiple times in his career (most notably the one-two punch of Jurassic Park and Schindler's List in 1993), so it's realistic Gunn can do the same. Now that Marvel is in the post-Endgame world, things should come into clarity relatively soon. The studio is planning on announcing their initial Phase 4 plans once Spider-Man: Far From Home opens, meaning it's only a matter of time before the course for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is set.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019