Marvel Studios is gearing up to launch Phase 3 of their cinematic universe with the premiere of Captain America: Civil War, the concluding chapter of Steve Rogers' (Chris Evans) trilogy. Phase 3 will continue on to include more Avengers films in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War as well as a number of standalone features like Doctor Strange and Black Panther. Also included in Phase 3 are sequels to previously released films such as Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the latter of which is currently in production in Atlanta, Georgia.
Vol. 2 is the sequel to the 2014 breakout hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which took a lesser known Marvel Comics property and adapted it into a film that saw both massive critical and box office success. Marvel Studios announced the sequel shortly before the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, during Comic-Con International in San Diego. But, as for whether Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2 director James Gunn would return again for a third film in the series - continuing on Marvel Studios' trend of trilogies - he said he's more focused on producing the best version of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 possible.
In a video he posted on Facebook, Gunn briefly discussed whether he would return to the director's chair on Guardians of the Galaxy 3, revealing that Marvel Studios has already broached the subject with him:
“Right now I really am just concerned with doing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I’m not sure what I’m going to do after this… Marvel has talked to me about continuing on. I’m not sure if that’s what I want to do or if that’s not what I want to do. I really just want to make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the greatest possible movie that I can, and something that’s as honest and sincere and true as it can possibly be.”
Of course, Gunn is by no means completely shooting down the possibility of him returning for a third Guardians of the Galaxy film. In fact, shortly after the release of the first movie he revealed that he already had story ideas for a third installment in the Guardians of the Galaxy series. Additionally, it seems to be a good sign that Marvel Studios is interested in him returning for another outing with Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, and Drax.
That being said, though, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn't release until next year - little more than a year from the time of this writing - so it might be a while before Gunn or Marvel Studios reveal if he'll be returning for a third feature. Plus, there's no telling when Marvel Studios is tentatively planning to release a third film in the series, though the studio has shuffled release dates in the past to add in sequels - as they did to add Ant-Man and the Wasp as well as Spider-Man to their slate. Or, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 could be one of the yet to be announced films planned for 2020.
Still, whether or not Marvel Studios is officially planning a third Guardians of the Galaxy film or whether Gunn returns to direct it remains to be seen. More official announcements will likely arrive closer to the theatrical release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: James Gunn
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