James Gunn’s first Guardians of the Galaxy shocked the movie world in 2014 with its rag-tag collection of semi-heroes, misfits, and cosmic pirates. This was supposed to be the film that broke Marvel’s incredible winning streak of nine straight blockbuster film successes. No one would accept a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, right? Welp, Marvel’s streak is now 16, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuted earlier this year to huge, huge, huge box office success.
Recently, a third leg in the trilogy was announced, to absolutely no one’s surprise. So where does James Gunn take the franchise in Vol. 3? According to THR, Gunn has already selected his music for the soundtrack and is working closely with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to plot out what happens in the MCU after Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
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Gunn shared some insight into his creative process and goals for the next film:
“Those scripts are already in the works. Kevin and I talk about it all the time; we just had a meeting today. Discussing what is the next iteration of cosmic characters and where are the characters that we’ve already created going to go in the next batch of films.”
What next batch of films? Currently, the only certainty in the MCU after “Phase 3” is a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. One possible clue is the appearance of Sylvester Stallone and the other intriguing cameos of really, really obscure Marvel characters (Stakar/Starhawk, Martinex, Mainframe, Krugarr, Charlie-27, and Aleta Ogord)… Who? Turns out, they’re all actually time-travelers from 1,000 years into the future. Basically, at this point Marvel could animate a stick of Juicy Fruit and audiences would probably embrace it.
Gunn explains his interest in these off-off-brand characters:
“I’m definitely interested in the direction that these characters are headed and their roles in the Marvel Universe. That is not something that we’re [currently] dealing with. These are older characters and more criminal than our Guardians. So we’re focusing on that.”
Oh, and then there’s the matter of Adam Warlock, one of Marvel’s more important cosmic characters, and yet another Jack Kirby/Stan Lee creation. Warlock first appeared way by in 1967’s Fantastic Four #66-67, a genetically-created superhuman with no life experience or memory — an empty vessel, you might say. Warlock has also been tied to the “Soul Gem,” one of the coveted Infinity Stones that is driving so much of the current MCU narrative. Gunn explains that his version of Warlock might not be what anyone is expecting:
“I always do what’s best for the movie. A lot of times that means taking things from the source material, and other times it’s changing things. I’ve changed a lot already from the comics with the Guardians. Groot’s personality in the first Guardians, which people loved, was nothing like his personality in the comics. He didn’t have that puppy-dog innocence that we love about Groot. I don’t restrain myself in any way when it comes to using stuff from the comics or not using it.”
Adding to this bonfire of Guardians news, ScreenRant relates that Gunn is aiming to start filming Vol. 3 as soon as late 2018:
“It’s been pretty easy. The truth is, the first movie is the first act, the second movie is the second act, and the third movie is the third act so I’m tying a lot of stuff together in the third film. We get a lot of answers on a lot of different things, so doing that in an elegant way takes a little bit of grace and elegance. It’s more challenging in that respect writing the third movie than the second movie.”
So the real question going forward: who’s going to be on the team? We know that the events in the next two Avengers films will shake the hell out of the MCU, and we’ll probably lose a few heroes in the process. It’s anyone’s guess what the next iteration of Guardians will look like… it might even be an entirely new team, which is just the sort of swerve we should all expect from the mind of James Gunn… and why not, so far his instincts have been pretty spot-on.
Where do you want James Gunn to take the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Do you want a completely new roster or just an expanded roster? Let us know in the comments down below!