The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond The Avengers: Infinity War has remained a big mystery for a number of years now, but one project fans have still long anticipated to be in Phase 4 is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Today writer/director James Gunn fully confirmed that notion, adding that he will take the helm of the project... but he also revealed some fascinating information about how it will fit into the larger MCU. Taking to social media today, the filmmaker wrote,

Much of what's happened in the MCU for the past ten or so years has been leading, in a big way, to the Avengers' Infinity War. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will happen after all that. It will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond. I will be working side-by-side with Kevin Feige and the gang to help design where these stories go, and make sure the future of the Marvel Cosmic Universe is as special and authentic and magical as what we have created so far.

James Gunn posted a long, heartfelt post about his future with Marvel Studios on his personal Facebook page this afternoon, and one of the most surprising paragraphs is featured above. Within those few sentences, we learn not only that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will serve as a definitive end to a particular trilogy, but that the blockbuster will wind up greatly influencing the Marvel cosmic projects that will come out in the decades following its release.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Yondu and Rocket face to face

To start breaking this down, let's discuss the idea of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 being the end of what we know as Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Not only does this mean that the film will work to properly conclude certain storylines, but interestingly also has an effect on the way that we're going to look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. James Gunn has spoken many times about making the upcoming blockbuster a standalone project, but there will now be expectations not only of the feature having certain lead-ins to The Avengers: Infinity War, but also dangling plot threads that will conclude as a narrative in the next specific Guardians of the Galaxy chapter.

Then there is the idea of the sequel being used to "catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond." On beyond the simple promise that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will introduce some new heroes and villains to the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe, this sentence puts one hyphenated word into our minds: spin-offs. For example, fans have been asking questions about a possible Rocket & Groot movie since August 2014. Maybe a few Guardians members can wind up teaming with Brie Larson's Captain Marvel in a Phase 4 or Phase 5 story. And maybe Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will introduce a whole new hero who winds up getting his own solo title. The possibilities at this point are pretty endless.

Right now we don't know much of anything about the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or the ground it will need to cover with the characters following The Avengers: Infinity War -- but these details are most definitely fascinating. What would you like to see James Gunn and Kevin Feige create in the future of the Marvel Cosmic Universe? Hit the comments below with your thoughts, and be sure to stay tuned for a whole lot more Guardians of the Galaxy coverage in the coming weeks!

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