Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Makes MCU History with New Poster

Star-Lord and Gamora, Marvel Studios
By Pierre Chanliau Posted:

The trailer for James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was finally released, and its accompanying poster made MCU history.

Marvel Studios has made it a habit in Phase 4 of giving atypical credits for its movies and shows. Whether it be the marketing propping up a film's director for the first time, like Eternals' Chloé Zhao, or Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige getting higher billing in Hawkeye, this movement hasn't gone unnoticed as the last two years have brought a number of new MCU entries.

This is something that continued with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also advertising its director, Sam Raimi.

So, it shouldn't be surprising that this trend has included Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and the poster for the threequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Poster Has Historic Billing

Fans appeared to have overlooked one detail of the official Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 teaser poster in their excitement for the trailer.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 poster
Marvel

Just below the Marvel Studios logo, it prominently includes "A James Gunn Film" credit. 

While Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder were billed as "A Chloé Zhao Film" and "A Taika Waititi Film," respectively, in small, hard-to-read text at the bottom of their posters, this Vol. 3 poster is the first theatrical MCU poster to market its filmmaker in such a major way.

Guardians oof the Galaxy 3 poster
Marvel

The poster even surprisingly omits its cast members in favor of promoting Gunn, an interesting move given the notable names attached to Vol. 3's ensemble, such as the likes of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Bradley Cooper, Will Poulter, and more.

Marvel may be taking a page out of DC's books, as The Suicide Squad's official poster used the very same strategy of promoting James Gunn over its cast:

The Suicide Squad poster
DC

Gunn-focused billing was also included on multiple posters for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Poster
Marvel

It's also bittersweet, as this threequel will no doubt be Gunn's swansong with Marvel Studios now that he'll be running DC Studios at Warner Bros. Discovery.

Is Marvel Studios Banking Off of James Gunn's DC Successes?

It's fascinating to see the shift in billing in the MCU post-Avengers: Endgame. The move can only be a net positive for the studio to give more feverish credit and a spotlight to its directors, but it is notable in how it's still changing with each release.

While Zhao and Raimi were focused on the film's marketing, their names weren't prominently on the poster like James Gunn. It's certainly well deserved after his long tenure as a director with Marvel Studios, but perhaps it can also be taken as a farewell token before he leaves for DC.

With Marvel Studios bringing an even wider array of talent to its releases, will this trend continue? Perhaps Deadpool 3 could see director Shawn Levy's name getting a notable push, given his successes with Stranger Things.

Fans will be able to enjoy Gunn's last contribution to the MCU when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is released in theaters on May 5, 2023.