Marvel Studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a success both in terms of critical reception and box office returns, but the film was especially important because it introduced the cosmic side of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Despite the wealth of Marvel properties that could be featured in this part of the MCU (including Captain Marvel), many have wondered if - or, more realistically, when - the Guardians will meet up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Since Guardians of the Galaxy included Thanos and introduced another Infinity Stone, many thought the team would appear at some point in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War. However, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn recently cast doubt on a team up between the Avengers and the Guardians, saying the two galaxies in which the teams reside are separate.
Now, during a podcast interview with Jeff Goldsmith (via CB), Gunn said that both Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel aren’t “all about leading towards” The Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 and Part 2, but instead will deal more with expanding the MCU beyond Earth. The director also reiterated that it may be some time before fans see the two teams of heroes team up in a single film.
Read Gunn’s full quote:
"The last thing I said was something about how the Guardians, we really are mostly focused on creating the Guardians as their own separate universe, creating the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. It isn't all about leading towards Avengers. We're not subservient to ‘The Avengers.' Whether or not at some point, some Guardians and some Avengers meet up and meet somewhere in the world, whether it's two years from now, three years from now, four years from now, fifteen years from now...I'm not going to say. But ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ does not exist as a prequel to ‘Avengers 3’ and ‘4.’ They have their own thing that they're involved in. They have their own mythos that they're involved in. They have their own stories that are equally important."
Gunn never completely nixes the possibility of a teamup between the Guardians and the Avengers, but it’s clear the director doesn’t want his films to be overshadowed by whatever role they might play in setting up a larger story arc in the MCU. As Gunn has previously said, he prefers shared universes where each individual movie can stand on its own.
Whether or not the Guardians and the Avengers do team up, it appears the director is attempting to create standalone movies as well as explore the cosmic reaches of the MCU:
"I don't want to make everything too small by focusing on this other thing. I think it's about making this world and this universe as big and as beautiful as possible."
Of course, no one can fault Gunn for wanting to create his own movies rather than single chapters in a larger book. Marvel Studios, on the other hand, has a bigger plan for the franchise than a string of individual films. To his credit, Gunn is fully aware of the Marvel machine and has worked well with the studio.
Whether fans will see the Guardians and the Avengers share the big screen in the foreseeable future remains unknown as it appears Gunn will be focusing more on his corner of the MCU: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and, possibly, Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1st, 2015, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5th, 2017, The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4th, 2018, and The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 5th, 2019.