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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had a lot of success over the last nine years, and one of the more notable ones was 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. Its starring characters may have been D-listers in the comics, but their cinematic debut not only was met with critical and commercial success, many of those characters have since become ingrained in pop culture. It's a no-brainer, then, that a sequel was ordered for these space-faring heroes, but can we expect another movie for them past Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? According to James Gunn, yes, there will be a third Guardians adventure. He stated:
There will be a Guardians 3, that's for sure. We're trying to figure it out. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do really, that's all it is. I got to figure out where I want to be, what I want to spend the next three years of my life doing. You know, I'm going to make another big movie; is it the Guardians or something else? I'm just going to figure it out over the next couple of weeks.
There you have it! Although Marvel still hasn't given any indication on when they'll announce their Phase Four sale of movies, we know that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be one of them. However, as James Gunn said in his interview with Complex, whether or not he returns for the threequel hasn't been decided yet. Gunn has been the primary driving force behind these first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies as their director and writer, so it's hard to imagine him not being involved in a third movie. But as he said, he's still figuring out what he wants to do next with his career, and if he's found that the cosmic side of the MCU isn't as appealing as it once was, then it would make sense if he didn't want to sit in the director's chair again. If that ends up happening, maybe Gunn could at least stay attached to Guardians of the Galaxy 3 as a producer.
If I had to guess, I would say that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will likely come out in 2020 at the earliest. Not only is three years the same amount of time that's passed between the first two Guardians movies being released, but since Marvel already has Captain Marvel, Avengers 4 and Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 scheduled for 2019, there's not really any room for the next Guardians adventure that year. Fortunately for fans of the team itself, the intrepid explorers won't be gone from the big screen for nearly that long, as they're confirmed to return for Avengers: Infinity War next year.
It will be a long time before we start learning about Guardians of the Galaxy 3, but Marvel fans still have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to look forward to on May 5.