Disney+ Reveals New MCU Timeline Order With Guardians of the Galaxy 3

By David Thompson Posted:
Star-Lord, Disney Plus

After Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's Disney+ debut, its exact place on the MCU timeline was revealed.

Following its May 5 theatrical release, Guardians 3, starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Zaldana, Dave Bautista, and Bradley Cooper, hit Disney+ on Wednesday, August 2.

During its theatrical run, Vol. 3 earned $845.3 million at the worldwide box office, currently the second-highest of 2023 but soon to be passed by the Barbie sensation.

How James Gunn left the Guardians team will certainly play a key role moving forward in the MCU, making Vol. 3's place in the Multiverse Saga even more important.

When Does Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Take Place?

According to Disney+, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 takes place after Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and before Secret Invasion, in the order in which they were released this year.

Originally slated to be released in 2020, it's interesting to think about when Vol. 3 would've been on the timeline had James Gunn never been fired from Disney.

Nevertheless, the current timeline placement shouldn't come as much of a shock. Whether it takes place before or after Ant-Man 3 seems irrelevant, but Vol. 3 was certain to fall after the events of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

The Holiday Special was previously put in a contradicting order, after Secret Invasion, which (if it were true) would make the events of Vol. 3 the most recent within the MCU timeline.

The full list of MCU projects in timeline order can be seen below:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Iron Man
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. The Incredible Hulk
  6. Thor
  7. The Avengers
  8. Thor: The Dark World
  9. Iron Man 3
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy
  12. I Am Groot: Groot’s First Steps
  13. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  14. I Am Groot: The Little Guy
  15. I Am Groot: Groot’s Pursuit
  16. I Am Groot: Groot Takes a Bath
  17. I Am Groot: Magnum Opus
  18. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  19. Ant-Man
  20. Captain America: Civil War
  21. Black Widow
  22. Black Panther
  23. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  24. Doctor Strange
  25. Thor: Ragnarok
  26. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  27. Avengers: Infinity War
  28. Avengers: Endgame
  29. Loki
  30. What If...?
  31. WandaVision
  32. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  33. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  34. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  35. Eternals
  36. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  37. Hawkeye
  38. Moon Knight
  39. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  40. She-Hulk
  41. Ms. Marvel
  42. Thor: Love and Thunder
  43. Werewolf by Night
  44. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
  45. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
  46. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  47. Secret Invasion

The full graphic of the MCU timeline can be seen below:


The Guardians of the Galaxy's Complicated Timeline History

The 10th MCU film, Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit in August 2014. It was a space adventure that brought the superhero fun of the MCU, mixed with James Gunn's unique spin and a hint of galactic adventures like Star Wars.

While many other films in Phase 2 and Phase 3 pushed the MCU narrative forward (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, etc), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was stuck in the past.

Vol. 2 was released in May 2017 but was set soon after the event of its predecessor, which is set in 2014 within the MCU.

The Guardians story didn't catch up to the rest of the cinematic universe until Avengers: Infinity War when everything building within the Infinity Saga reached a breaking point.

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, the remaining Guardians teamed up with Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder for "a few weeks" according to James Gunn.

After Love and Thunder, Guardians 3 was the first film of its series to take place in the present-day MCU in nearly a decade.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now streaming on Disney+.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.