It was a surprise - although a very pleasant one - that this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy became such a smash hit. Already, Guardians is the biggest domestic release of 2014 (though when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies release later this year that may change), and just recently it surpassed Disney's Maleficent to become the second highest grossing film worldwide (yet still behind Transformers: Age of Extinction).
Even before Guardians released, Marvel shocked us by announcing a sequel and release date. During their mega-Marvel event where the studio announced their slate of films for Phase 3, Guardians 2's release date was moved up from July to May 2017, only further cementing Marvel's confidence in the Guardians brand and its place within the grand scheme of the MCU.
The choice of writer/director James Gunn was definitely a factor in Guardians' easy success, as a property as quirky and unique as the Guardians of the Galaxy needed an equally irreverent director at the helm. Gunn proved perfect and unsurprisingly the director is returning for the sequel. And on the day Guardians of the Galaxy released, Gunn was hard at work on the script for Guardians 2, recently sharing he'd always considered this property larger than, "just one story."
Now, in an interview with Indiewire, Gunn reveals he had ideas for a Guardians' sequel while he was still filming the first one, and that he has more ideas were the franchise to continue:
"...To be honest, I had the basic story for number two while I was working on number one, and perhaps even beyond that. So it’s gonna answer a lot of questions that are proposed in the first one, and we’ll be able to get to know some of the characters we didn’t get to know in the first one a little bit more, and we might meet a few new characters too."
First amongst those questions we're expecting Guardians of the Galaxy 2 to answer is the identity of Peter Quill's father, but beyond that a Guardians' sequel would almost have to include further investigation into the Infinity Stones, perhaps revealing that the one currently held by the Nova Corps isn't as secure as they'd hoped.
From there, since there's currently no date or even any confirmed plans for a Guardians 3, it's tough to guess at what that film could cover. Considering that were a Guardians 3 to happen it will release after Avengers: Infinity Wars Part 1 & 2, it could possibly introduce whatever cosmic threat will come next, maybe even bringing other characters like Captain Marvel and the Inhumans into the fold.
There's also plenty of room to expand upon the established Guardians seeing as each apart from Peter didn't have much of their personal history explored in the first Guardians. If a second Guardians film must also tie in with the Thanos arc (which will presumably wrap with Infinity Wars), then a third could be used to further develop the rest of the team.
Gunn has also mentioned his intention to introduce new characters to the team, suggesting he'd like to have at least two female characters on the team in a sequel. And while we could see the Guardians' roster grow in its second film, with rumors that Dave Bautista's Drax will have a "significant role" in the third Avengers movie, perhaps he won't being making it back for a Guardians 3 alive? Were that the case, then there'd definitely be an opening as well as an opportunity for Drax's fellow Guardians to work through their grief and anger over his loss.
Obviously, any discussion about a Guardians 3 just opens the floodgates on wild speculation about where this franchise could go, but what are some ideas you'd like to see the Guardians of the Galaxy series explore post-Infinity Wars? Drop us a line in the comments below!
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6 2018, Inhumans on November 2 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019.