The Phase 4 slate of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was recently heavily affected following the delay of many of its films amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This resulted in each film being moved back to the following film's original release date, meaning that Black Widow has taken The Eternals' release spot of November 6, 2020, The Eternals took Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' release date of February 12, 2021, and so on. The only film that remained unaffected is the Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel, which is still expected to release July 16, 2021.
One Marvel property that still remains up in the air is Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3. The film was originally supposed to start shooting in 2019, and release this year. However, the film was previously pushed back after director James Gunn was removed from the project by Disney in July 2018, only to be reinstated in his role many months later after cast and fan support. The newest entry in the Guardians of the Galaxy film series was intended to commence shooting this year, following the wrapping of production on Gunn's DC project The Suicide Squad. No word has been given on an official release date for the film, but new information may ease fans' expectations for the film's progress...
As confirmed by James Gunn on his Twitter, the plans for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 are currently unaffected. The film thus seemingly remains on track for its intended release window.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Although no official confirmation has been given on the release date as of yet, it is clear that James Gunn is confident that it will be able to meet its expected release window despite concerns surrounding COVID-19. Gunn also noted that The Suicide Squad has now entered its post-production phase, with the editing process taking place from the crew's homes. As drafts of the Guardians 3 scripts have already been completed, further script development of the flim can still continue while Gunn and others close to the project remain in self-isolation.
When Vol 3. will actually release is still uncertain. If production is still set to begin this year (which seems extremely unlikely at this point) it would be expected that the film would release next year. However, considering that 2021 has already gained a large number of films due to delays, it is likely that Disney will hold off until at least 2022. Marvel also has a set of dates ranging from late 2022 into 2023 as revealed in Disney's schedule last year, which have all been listed as 'Untitled Marvel Film'. It is very possible that the latest Guardians film could take one of these slots, considering the already-packed Phase 4 slate preceding this. While this means that Marvel fans may have to wait quite a while for the Guardians trilogy to be complete, they can rest assured that the film is still on track to provide a satisfying conclusion to the series.