This article contains spoilers for Avengers Infinity War
Following the firing of Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn, the future of our favourite band of space a-holes was left in serious doubt. Months on from Disney’s misguided decision and GOTG Vol.3 is looking set for a lengthy delay.
The original plan was to start filming January 2019 for summer 2020 release. That date was canned when Gunn departed, and despite ‘fan and cast support to reinstate him, Gunn wasn’t invited back to round off his trilogy.
The recent release shuffle of Disney’s Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt shifted from November 2019 to summer 2020. Then, rather casually, Disney removed an untitled Marvel movie from the 2020 schedule. GOTG Vol. 3 still doesn’t have a director attached, and it appears as though Gunn’s finished script won’t be used in any capacity. The Hollywood Reporter speculates that production could be pushed by two years if it comes to pass at all.
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has been hotly tipped to take on Guardians, but it could be a case that Vol. 3 never comes to pass. Dave Bautista (Drax) has been vocal about his dissatisfaction over Gunn’s treatment. He’s gone as far to say that if Gunn’s script wasn’t used he wanted out of his contract. The behind the scenes issues may well factor into how Avengers 4 plays out, and some dead characters may wind up gone for good.
On the flip side, Disney has plenty of options to explore the world of the Guardians with any number of spin-offs. The 90s set Captain Marvel already has a couple of supporting GOTG characters making an appearance; perhaps future sequels will feature some of the surviving Guardians.