James Gunn surprised Marvelites by announcing his return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 before embarking on the press tour for the second sequel. Now, fans have to play the waiting game as the writer-director confirmed on social media Tuesday that the trilogy will come to a close after the events of the fourth Avengers movie.
“Vol. 3 will take place AFTER Avengers 3 & 4,” Gunn clarified to a fan on Twitter.
With a hefty schedule of three Marvel films a year, this means we’ll have to wait until after Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017), Thor: Ragnarok (Nov. 3), Black Panther (Feb. 16, 2018), Avengers: Infinity War (May 4, 2018), Ant-Man and The Wasp (July 6, 2018), Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019), and the fourth, still untitled Avengers movie (May 3, 2019). Oh yeah, and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (this Friday).
There’s also a sequel to Homecoming scheduled for July 5, 2019. So, unless Marvel wants to add a fourth film that year or reconfigure the theatrical schedule, that would place the next Guardians in 2020 the earliest.
Star-Lord and his band of misfits will be seen again in Infinity War, which is filming back to back with the fourth Avengers, initially titled Avengers: Infinity War – Part II. According Joe and Anthony Russo, who direct both installments, “These two movies are intended to be the culmination of everything that has happened in the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] since the very first Iron Man movie. In being a culmination, these movies are in some ways going to be an end to certain things, and in some ways, they’re going to be the beginning of certain things.”
At the premiere of Vol. 2, Gunn said of the third Guardians, “I think really that the three movies work together as a whole, they’re going to tell one story. This is the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and we’re going to get to know the characters even better in the same way we got to know them much better in this film than the first one.”