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MCU Director Reveals Guardians 3 Will Ignore Thor 4

Thor, Love and Thunder logo, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 logo
By Jennifer McDonough

Thor's latest adventure is now playing in theaters everywhere. In Marvel's Thor: Love and Thunder, the Asgardian thunder god is reunited with his old flame Dr. Jane Foster to put an end to the villainous Gorr the God-Butcher and his nefarious plans. But, before any of that happens, audiences find Thor exactly where they last left him in Avengers: Endgame: with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Indeed, Thor 4 opened with Thor having spent a seemingly long stretch of time with the Guardians, flying through the cosmos and answering distress signals. The entire cast made cameo appearances in the movie, including Chris Pratt's Peter Quill as well as Rocket, Drax, and Nebula. And, of course, the ragtag team of outer space misfits will be seen yet again in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special at the end of the year. Plus, their story will come to a close in 2023's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Naturally, James Gunn, writer and director of the Guardians films, takes a lot of ownership over these characters. And rightfully so, as he had a huge hand in developing the look, tone, and personality of the franchise.

But did Gunn take his characters' exploits with Thor in Love and Thunder into consideration when developing his threequel?

Guardians Vol. 3 Ignoring Love and Thunder

Thor Love and Thunder, Guardians 3
Marvel

In an interview with Screen Rant that took place at San Diego Comic-Con, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn had this to say when asked if the events of Thor: Love and Thunder had any impact on his upcoming film: "No, I wrote the script without ever thinking that they were ever going to be with Thor, so it hasn’t affected them at all."

Previously, Gunn had responded to fan frustration that his one-time firing and subsequent rehiring from Marvel meant that Thor wouldn't get to team up with the Guardians in Vol. 3, saying he "[appreciates] the love, but Thor was never going to be in Vol. 3.”

Additionally, in the lead-up to Thor 4's release, Chris Pratt, speaking to Inverse, specifically mentioned that the film's screaming goats would be left with the Guardians, as Thor takes off with bigger fish to fry in the first act:

“[Taika] just wanted to stick James with some goats. He was like, ’I’ve rewritten the script, mate, and, you know, I decided to put some goats in there and see what he’s going to do with them. So James has to pick up where Taika left off and he stuck us with some space goats.”

However, audiences know full well that Thor took the goats with him when he parted ways with Quill and company, so it's possible that Pratt didn't know the full story. 

Will Guardians 3 Reference Thor?

It's important to note that the Guardians of the Galaxy weren't even in Thor: Love and Thunder for that long. Their total screentime maybe amounted to ten minutes at most. What's more is that everything was sort of business as usual for them and nothing in the movie upset their own status quo in the slightest. Thor 4 put everything neatly back in the box for the team.

So, will Gunn sneak in a name drop or reference to Thor in Vol. 3, despite his statement indicating that he didn't consider Love and Thunder when writing the film? It's difficult to say at this point, but perhaps not. The third movie seems to be intently focused on the Guardians themselves since it strives to be the final chapter for this version of the crew.

There's always the slight possibility that Gunn could always stick a few allusions to the Guardians' adventures with Thor in reshoots though. After all, Love and Thunder implied that he was palling around with them for quite some time.

But the bottom line is that neither the story nor the characters of Vol. 3 will be influenced by Thor. 

Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in cinemas, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will blast its way into theaters on May 5, 2023.