Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame are ahead.
Now that all our Guardians of the Galaxy have been un-dusted in Avengers: Endgame, it’s time to start asking — nay, begging, for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. If you’re one of those people right now who needs to see Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, and Nebula (and… Thor?) back in action ASAP there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is, of course, that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. is officially happening. The bad news is that its journey is to theaters has already been pretty rocky and it might be a long time before Guardians 3 actually comes out.
When Is Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Supposed To Be Out?
Since all Marvel franchises with the larger franchise have followed a trilogy pattern, it was always assumed that Guardians would get a third installment. Shortly before the release of Vol 2. in April 2017 writer/director James Gunn confirmed that he would return for Guardians 3. Vol 2. opened in theaters, it got great reviews, grossed a whole lot of money, and things were going great! It was expected that the movie would begin production sometime in 2019, eying a 2020 release. But that didn't work out...
Why Is Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Delayed?
And then a bunch of Gunn’s old tweets resurfaced that weren't exactly “family friendly.” Not wanting to face backlash, Disney and Marvel fired Gunn from Guardians 3. The outcry against the decision was swift, and intense — it also probably didn’t help that this news broke on Friday of Comic-Con 2018. Immediately, fans were asking for Disney and Marvel to reconsider their decision, but the studios stood firm. The Guardians cast posted a heartfelt plea to social media, asking Disney and Marvel to re-hire Gunn, but even that didn’t work. With Gunn no longer working on the movie, the future of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was completely up in the air.
During this time, Disney and Marvel made it clear that they were in no rush to find a new director for the project, which kinda made it seem like the third part of the trilogy might be shelved forever. And then, in a completely shocking turn of events, in February 2019, Disney and Marvel announced that they had re-hired Gunn for Guardians 3, and suddenly everything was right in the MCU world again.
When Will Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Premiere?
With everything back on track, how quickly can we expect Vol. 3 to hit? Well, any hope if it making its planned 2020 release has come and gone, so don’t hold your breath. Also, maybe don’t expect it to happen in 2021 either. During his time away from Guardians, to the surprise of no one, Gunn was hired to helm another high profile project for Warner Bros.: Suicide Squad.
Gunn is rebooting the movie for Warner Bros, and giving the Squad a brand new take (which will more than likely feature his signature brand of offbeat humor, something the first Suicide Squad desperately lacked). When Gunn’s rehiring was announced, it was also mentioned that he wasn’t going to step back into Guardians until after Suicide Squad, and the Warner Bros. movie is going to begin pre-production this fall for a release in 2021. That means, if we’re taking this timeline to heart, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 more than likely won’t start production until 2021, if not 2022, which means we might not even see the movie until 2023. It’s entirely possible that things could be fast-tracked and it’ll arrive in theaters, but that’s an incredibly lofty goal.
Will Gamora & Thor Be In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3?
The events of Avengers: Endgame also two a few curveballs into the future of the Guardians movies, and knowing what we know now about who’s on Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) ship, honestly anything could happen next. The biggest question is, of course, about Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Because Thor just decides that he’s now part of the Guardians and leaves his new home in New Asgard to travel with this group, much to Peter’s objection.
Wherever the Guardians are headed next, it looks like they’ve got a new travel companion. This establishing scene in Endgame could be one giant joke — especially considering how much the likes of Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) took to Thor in Infinity War, and Thor’s new relationship with Rocket (Bradley Cooper) — or it could be real. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Thor? Thor: Guardians of the Galaxy? Who knows what’s happening there, as there hasn’t been any sort of hint about the storyline of the next movie.
So while it appears that they’ve got a new member, the Guardians have also lost a member. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is, tragically, still dead, as she died before Thanos’ snap. But, thanks to time travel, Gamora is still alive in the past, which is now the present since Past Nebula (Karen Gillan) brought everyone to present day. (And Past Nebula is now dead, but Present Nebula is still alive. Yes, this is confusing). Present Nebula makes a joke to Past Gamora about how she’s in love with Peter Quill, and upon seeing him Gamora is like “ew gross,” to which Nebula explains that it was either him or a tree (i.e. Vin Diesel's Groot).
Past Gamora is not on the ship when the rest of the Guardians and Thor blast off, so she may or may not be joining everyone on the next adventure. In real life, Zoe Saldana has a crazy commitment to the new Avatar movies, so this might be a way to write her out of a majority of the movie, while still offering her the opportunity to return if she has the time. While Thor is by no means a proper trade off on the badass lady scale, if we can’t have Gamora in Vol 3. we might as well have him.