In an alternate timeline worthy of Marvel's What If...?, Gunn's third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise was originally slated for a 2020 release before his temporary dismissal from Disney followed by COVID-19 delays.
But now that Marvel's Phase 4 is moving forward with Gunn back in the fold, the director has kept fans updated on his progress for the threequel by sharing a peek at his storyboards for the film and teasing its enormous scale.
While it's true that Gunn isn't the only one talking about the franchise's third (and possibly final?) chapter, he did have a few fun responses to the cast's reaction to his Vol. 3 script.
Gunn Reacts to Cast's Comments on Vol. 3 Script
"We read [the script] in the same room together, and then looked at each other and we were in floods of tears."
Upon seeing the news story on social media, Gunn amusingly responded on Twitter posting the following:
Or maybe they just got paper cuts. https://t.co/2SyPcCL2WK— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) September 19, 2021
Karen Gillan has been playing Nebula since 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, while Pom Klementieff first appeared as Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Following his original response, Gunn posted an additional comment that read:
"I hope it’s not because they thought they had too few lines because honestly their roles are both pretty huge and it seems greedy."
Karen Gillan then shared her own response to Gunn's humorous tweets in a post of her own, which reads:
"I expected at least 2 more soliloquies."
Of course, Gunn had a response to Gillan's remark as well, saying,
"12 wasn’t enough???!!!"
While Gillan's Nebula was originally intent on killing Gamora, her character has undergone a significant transformation throughout her run in the MCU. Fans particularly saw this in Avengers: Endgame, where she received quite a bit of screentime for such a packed, ensemble film.
More Nebula and Mantis in Gunn's Vol. 3?
This social media exchange, which went from an admission of tears to a fun, sarcastic back-and-forth, is on-brand with the Guardians films themselves.
Still, apart from Gunn and Gillan's commentary, this isn't the first time fans have heard that Vol. 3 will be emotional. In fact, Gunn has discussed the film's emotional plot before, and Drax's Bautista has implied several times that Vol. 3 is likely his final go as the fan-favorite character.
Also, it's worth noting that Gunn's comments about Mantis' and Nebula's huge roles in the film probably weren't part of this joking exchange.
Considering Nebula's actions in Endgame, coupled with the fact that Gamora is now a variant from the past, it's possible that Gillan's character could have a more central role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
It's also likely that Gunn has bigger plans for Mantis, as fans have yet to see her arc fully play out in the MCU.
While the Guardians franchise may be drawing to a close, there's a lot of Guardians storytelling to come as the cast is expected to appear in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder, followed by The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+, all before Vol. 3 arrives in theaters.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to release in theaters on May 5, 2023.