Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 has been the subject of controversy for well over a year now. In July 2018, director James Gunn was let go from the project after some past distasteful tweets resurfaced. This delay forced Marvel Studios to indefinitely delay Guardians 3 from its intitial 2020 release. As if that wasn't enough, Drax the Destroyer himself Dave Bautista said he was skeptical to return for the third installment unless Gunn was reinstated. While all this uncertainty was going on, Gunn signed on with Warner Bros to direct their next Suicide Squad flick, a film franchise many consider to be the DC Comics' answer to the Guardians.
Even after all that, Marvel and Gunn were able to come to terms on a deal in March 2019 that would see the popular writer and director return to the MCU. While fans were delighted, it raised the question of whether Gunn's Guardians 3 would need significant reworking. The first draft of the script was completed before Avengers: Endgame hit theaters, and events from that film would likely have a ripple effect on Peter Quill and company.
It looks like Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3's script won't need to be reworked. Earlier today on Twitter, James Gunn confirmed to a fan that he had "talked extensively" with the Russo brothers before the two-part Infinity Saga conclusion was scribed.
The Russo brothers and I talked extensively before Infinity War and Endgame were written.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 9, 2020
WHAT THIS MEANS
While Hollywood is on pause for the time being, it is refreshing to know that the Guardians 3 delays seem to be behind us. After all the controversy that circled the film in Summer 2018, fans can rejoice knowing James Gunn and company are essentially ready to start shooting.
Endgame marked a seismic shift in the MCU for all characters, especially the Guardians. Present day Gamora is dead, but 2014 Gamora is now alive and missing in the 2023 timeline. Peter Quill and Thor are in the midst of a power struggle. Rocket spent five years on Earth and on adventures without his other-worldly best friends. All these changes would have needed to be reflected to Gunn ahead of writing the third installment in order to maintain continuity and progress the storyline appropriately. Gunn did serve as an executive producer on both Infinity War and Endgame, likely helping the Russos write dialogue for his characters, so their assistance in helping him prepare Guardians 3 is logical.
What's interesting to note is that Gunn confirms he spoke with the Russos but does not mention Taika Waititi. In the final moments of Endgame, fans were teased with a potential team-up between Thor and the Guardians. A crossover between the two would likely require Gunn knowing where Waititi plans to take the God of Thunder in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder. Similar to how Marvel brought in directors Jon Favreau, Peyton Reed, Gunn, and more to help appropriately write their respective characters for Infinity War and Endgame, it would make sense for Gunn and Waititi to collaborate to ensure Thor is portrayed the way Waititi envisions.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 is currently without a confirmed release date, but is expected to be on-screens no later than 2023.