The assembled group in Guardians 2

After years of waiting, the time has finally come: James Gunn's highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will arrive in theaters this week. Set just a few months after the events of the 2014 original film, we'll see the group continue to grow and become closer, setting up their upcoming crossover into Avengers: Infinity War. But with the Guardians' story still a few years in the past the MCU's continuity, when exactly will the threequel take place in the overall timeline? Luckily for us, Gunn himself has provided some answers.

James Gunn is always very generous with his time and fan interaction, especially on his various social media accounts. So when one fan asked Gunn if Guardians 3 would also be set in the past, (and therefore would be a prequel to Infinity War), Gunn cleared some things up.

It looks like the Guardians will be making their way back to the present time in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which might be pretty great news for the franchise as a whole. Here's why.

Setting Guardians 3 after the events of the next two Avengers movies will allow the audience to follow a more straight up timeline for the franchise. The battle against Thanos will surely take a lot out of the motley crew of intergalactic peace keepers, so fans will want to see the group process their recent adventures. In particular, Nebula and Gamora will likely end up coming face to face against their father figure and abuser, so having Guardians 3 in the present is a necessity to flesh out how they're processing that conflict.

Additionally, putting the Guardians in the proper timeline of the MCU will allow them to take a greater role in Phase Four. With a bunch of Marvel contracts up at the end of the next two Avengers films, there will probably be major shakeups in the MCU. If the likes of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers leave the shared universe, characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy will have to pick up the slack, and lead the overall franchise moving forward.

And with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still set in 2014, it should be interesting to see how The Russo Brothers and James Gunn handle the time jump to Avengers: Infinity War. This will hopefully result is us finally meeting a fully grown Groot, and allow for the newcomers like Mantis to become fully fledged members of the team before they show up to fight Thanos.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will arrive in theaters this Friday, May 5th. Be sure to check out our full 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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