James Gunn is currently working on the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but that isn't the only cosmic film Marvel Studios is developing. The Marvel Cinematic Universe to this point has been rather Earth-centric, despite having an entire universe to explore; the Thor franchise was the greatest escape from Midgard, but both films have had a heavy tie to Earth. Guardians of the Galaxy was the studio's first step at expanding the reaches of the MCU and its success in doing so has put director James Gunn in a prominent position within the company.
After writing and directing the first two Guardians movies, he is doing the same for Vol. 3 while also working with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to plan out the future of the cosmos. Gunn has said Vol. 3 will help shape the next decade of MCU stories, indicating future films will have a bigger venture into space.
With this focus in mind, Marvel Studios is already in the scripting stage of multiple cosmic tales. Gunn revealed this to be the case in an interview with THR. Who these scripts focus on and what stories they'll ultimately tell are unknown, but it is clear that the Marvel Cosmic Universe is just getting started:
"Those scripts are already in the works. Kevin and I talk about it all the time, we just had a meeting today. Discussing what is the next iteration of cosmic characters and where are the characters that we’ve already created going to go in the next batch of films."
Despite being in the thick of things with Phase 3 - Marvel Studios still has seven films left to hit theaters - they are not sitting back and waiting to see how everything will play out. Marvel has always been great at planning out the future of the MCU, but also making changes to the plan when necessary. They've yet to announce the slate of Phase 4 and do not anticipate doing that for some time, but it is very likely that following Thanos' arrival in the next two Avengers films that the majority of films will take place across the cosmos.
Marvel has a vast library of characters at their disposal even without having the rights to all of their properties, and there are plenty of fan-favorite cosmic characters waiting to be introduced. Both Adam Warlock and Quasar have been hinted at for Vol. 3 and some of these in-development scripts could be for solo ventures for them. Fans also continue to ask for Nova to make his way into the MCU, who would be a great character to introduce and lead future cosmic stories. The eventual arrivals of Moondragon, Phyla-Vell, Vance Astro, or Beta Ray Bill could all factor into Marvel's cosmic future. Thanks to the mysterious nature of these scripts, any and all options are on the table, but we'll have to wait to uncover what they entail.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018