Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn confirms once again the film is set after the events of Avengers: Infinity War. As anyone who's seen Marvel's epic crossover can attest, the Guardians didn't fare very well against the Mad Titan. Thanos sacrificed Gamora so he could acquire the Soul Stone, and then Star-Lord, Drax, Groot, and Mantis were among the millions who turned to dust after the villain snapped his fingers. Currently, Rocket is the lone member from the team left standing, though it probably won't stay that way for long.
With Gunn in the process of developing the third and final installment in his Guardians trilogy, many viewers expect several (if not all) the Infinity War deaths to be reversed by the time Avengers 4 ends. The talent involved with the films are doing the best they can to try to maintain the illusion, teasing the possibility of certain sequels being Infinity War prequels, but Gunn has definitively stated that won't be the case for Vol. 3.
Recently, Chris Pratt made the suggestion Guardians 3 could take place before Infinity War (which itself is set four years after Vol. 2). Apparently, Star-Lord hasn't been in contact with his director regarding this matter, as Gunn responded to a fan on Twitter, reiterating prior comments he's made that the next Guardians film is after Infinity War.
Infinity War's ending, however bold it was, put Marvel in a tight spot when it comes to discussing future movies. Obviously, knowing the deaths of Peter Parker, T'Challa, and others won't be permanent arguably cheapens their emotional impact, but the studio should find a way to handle this a little better. They don't have to reveal how the deceased heroes come back, but they should be open about their impending returns. Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 is going to be in production soon, Gunn is writing Vol. 3 and a Black Panther 2 is most definitely in the pipeline after the first one grossed $1.3 billion worldwide. It doesn't do anybody any favors to try to skirt around the issue and pretend the Infinity War "casualties" are really gone. If anything, lying this blatantly runs the risk of rubbing the audience the wrong way when everyone inevitably does come back.
To be fair, the likes of Pratt and Joe & Anthony Russo deserve credit for trying to be creative in interviews; this is likely an awkward topic for Marvel's principals to talk about and everyone's dealing with it in their own way. And the MCU doesn't always move through its sprawling narrative linearly (Captain Marvel is a 1990s period piece), so prequels aren't an entirely farfetched idea. However, with Gunn coming out to provide some much-needed clarity, it's time for everyone at Marvel to get on the same page and be more transparent about characters' fates.
Source: James Gunn
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019