The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to make its long-awaited return in 2021, with its Phase 4 arriving in January with the debut of Disney+'s WandaVision.
Six Disney+ shows and four theatrical releases will premiere next year, with a combined dozen projects coming in 2022, and there are still a handful of confirmed entries for 2023 and later that haven't started pre-production yet. One of the movies in this batch is James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, on which he will resume work on after finishing both The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker for Warner Bros.
The Guardians' next journey in the MCU is still unknown for now, as they were last seen at the end of Avengers: Endgame with Thor in tow on the Benatar as Peter Quill pondered where the 2014 reality Gamora is in the universe.
As usual, Gunn has been open yet cryptic about what's coming in the Guardians' threequel, including in a recent social media thread...
Director James Gunn recently went into some details about how he is working on Guardians of the Guardians, Vol. 3.
A fan asked Gunn if he would entertain a fan poll that would decide whether Rocket lives or dies in the upcoming movie, to which Gunn responded that such a storytelling decision is not something that people can vote on:
Gunn then tackled another question asking if Marvel fans should be "prepared for some Game of Thrones fan-type of hurt" in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3. The filmmaker implied that whatever events transpire in GotG Vol. 3 will have proper build-up and will feel authentic:
I don't think so. I don't think most GoT fans were angry because Danys became evil, but because she did so suddenly without any build up or explanation - it didn't feel real.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 30, 2020
Dave Bautista admitted that Marvel Studios "dropped the ball" with some of Drax's story in the MCU.
James Gunn said that he sees ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ "as the end of the Guardians' story" he's been telling since their first movie in 2014, but he did tease the possibility of continuing by saying "never say never.”
Dave Bautista teased that 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' is “probably going to be the end” of Drax's arc.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 is still nearly a year away from starting up production, which means any hints about its plot likely won't release to the public until the latter half of 2021. One of the biggest plot points rumored to be included in Vol. 3 is an in-depth look into Bradley Cooper's Rocket Raccoon, possibly including his demise at the end of this trilogy.
It's a great sign seeing how seriously Gunn is taking this story after bringing surprises and excitement in both of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films. The noted director isn't afraid to kill off fan-favorite characters like Groot (before his rebirth) and Yondu if that's what is best for his stories. The filmmaker has already confirmed that Vol. 3 will include a major death as the trilogy comes to a close.
It should also keep the Marvel fans encouraged that Gunn is working to build up to this movie's surprises gradually and in a sensible manner, which is the exact opposite of how the Game of Thrones fandom felt about Daenerys Taragaryen's shocking turn to evil at the end of Season 8. It seems quite unlikely that any Guardians would make this drastic of a change going forward, but no matter what happens, James Gunn is doing his part to make the threequel feel as real and sincere as possible.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 will release sometime in 2023. The team will also appear, at least partially, in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder, and fully in 2022's Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+.