James Gunn is returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3 come Marvel Phase 4. Gunn made the announcement prior to the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press junket to avoid wasting hundreds of media questions about the future and whether or not he'll return. He's also made it clear that Vol. 3 will end his story and that iteration of the team.
That doesn't mean the Guardians are done when Vol. 3 releases sometime in 2020-21. In fact, Guardians of the Galaxy 4 is just as possible, arguably likely even, as Captain America 4. The Cap story can continue with Chris Evans as Steve Rogers since other characters can take up the mantle, and it's the same for Guardians of the Galaxy where the team has constantly and continually evolved over the years.
Speaking to the Toronto Sun, Gunn reiterates the notion of concluding the main arc of Guardians of the Galaxy in the third chapter:
“I think the first three movies tell a single story and that story is pretty simple. I think that there could be a Guardians Vol. 4, but it would not be the same. It would not be the same group… basically the story of this group ends with Vol. 3.”
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige explained during the GOTG 2 junket that what Gunn will do in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will help establish the next decade of the Marvel cosmic, and said Gunn could help "oversee additional stories" beyond his next movie. Gunn says the same, confirming what we already knew - that after Phase 3 concludes with the as of yet untitled Avengers 4, Marvel will be doubling down on the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I will be helping to plant the seeds that will lead to the next decade. I’m helping to decide what projects we’ll be pursuing outside of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3… and what the next cosmic characters we will focus on.”
We already know the original Guardians of the Galaxy, or at least, the MCU's version of them, will return in the future. We know Adam Warlock is virtually guaranteed for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, so there are ideas right there in addition to things like the long-awaited adaptation of Nova.
As for Guardians of the Galaxy 4? That could just involve a new roster and new set of threats, or it can transform into something like Infinity Watch, The Annihilators or Guardians of Knowhere. Look those up if you're curious!
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers.
Source: Toronto Sun
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017