After a long wait, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finally has an official logo and a confirmed release date of May 5, 2023. The film is set to reunite the iconic team of Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and Mantis for what may be their final galaxy-hopping adventure.
Director James Gunn recently teased that he is currently planning for the upcoming threequel to be his last go-around with Marvel as he concludes the story of the legendary team.
While the director suggested his MCU tenure is coming to an end, the Guardians themselves have yet to comment on their future across the rest of the franchise, until now...
GUARDIANS 3 IS PROBABLY THE END OF DRAX
In an interview with Digital Spy Magazine, Drax actor Dave Bautista teased that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is “probably going to be the end” of his character's arc.
The actor revealed that the upcoming trilogy completing film concludes his “obligations,” seemingly indicating it is the final appearance in his current Marvel Studios contract:
“I mean, as far as my obligations, I've got Guardians 3, and that's probably going to be the end of Drax.”
WILL THE GUARDIANS EVER RETURN?
As the critically-acclaimed Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy comes to a close, it remains a big question whether the characters' stories end here or if there is potential for them to return across the wider MCU. The entire team was last seen in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame as they worked with the earthbound heroes to take on Thanos' forces and save the galaxy once more.
With Marvel's reveal of an expansive Disney+ slate, many fans were incredibly surprised to see a lack of any Guardian-centric series, apart from the late 2022 The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and animated I Am Groot show. In the past, there have been calls for Rocket and Groot or Drax and Mantis spin-offs, however, it seems to be becoming increasingly possible the 2023 release may be the end for the team.
Given the ever-expanding and changing nature of the MCU, the door is always open for any departed characters to return down the line, so it's still possible the Guardians could return to help take on the next major threat.
Granted, it's possible Drax could be the only one concluding his MCU tenure with the upcoming film. For a long time, it's been predicted that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will feature at least one major death.
Drax finally saw his family avenged with the death of Thanos, largely completing his multi-film story arc. Bautista's character making the ultimate sacrifice to defeat whatever threat the threequel holds could be a fitting way to end his story as he is finally reunited with his family.
Either way, there is plenty of Guardians action still to come as the whole team will return in Thor: Love and Thunder before the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023, and their own Holiday Special in late 2022.