Now that the dust has finally settled on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 debacle, director James Gunn is ready to talk about his very strange year and the film itself. While it will not be produced until sometime after he completes The Suicide Squad, the script exists and the writer/director has hinted at as key element from that story.
In an interview with Deadline, he admitted “this very strange and attached relationship to Rocket” was the thing he was preparing to miss most in the months while fired from the production. “I also feel like his story has not been completed. He has an arc that started in the first movie, continued into the second and goes through Infinity War and Endgame, and then I was set to really finish that arc in Guardians 3. That was a big loss to me—not being able to finish that story—though I was comforted by the fact that they were still planning to use my script.”
While Gunn was eventually reinstated, those feelings of loss point to the direction Vol. 3 will go in. Some suspected the film would be a prequel to Avengers: Infinity War, detailing time gap between that film and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s ending. As the first two Guardians films take place several years prior to Infinity War, it was a reasonable suspicion. But Gunn’s comments make a Vol. 3 set after Avengers: Endgame more likely. In that case, Rocket’s arc picks up after spending five years without Groot. Presumably, he spent most of that time on Earth, though the Benatar‘s condition through most of Endgame suggests he may have returned to the stars as well. It will be interesting to see how Gunn interprets that time and what it means for the character, which he claims is the closest to his heart.
Meanwhile, Gunn is off to make The Suicide Squad, the quasi-sequel to Warner Bros. Picture’s attempt to create their own Guardians sensation. Hopefully, Gunn will give them a little bit more of that feel then the first Suicide Squad film pulled off.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will likely arrive in 2022.