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Among Marvel Studios' Phase Three films, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an outlier in one very specific way. While most of the blockbusters on the slate are set in the year they are released, the new James Gunn movie takes place just a few months after the first adventure, placing it somewhere in the year 2014. This is especially interesting when you consider that the characters will next appear in the 2018-set Avengers: Infinity War -- and I recently got confirmation from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige that the gang of interstellar misfits will change as characters by the time we catch up with them in the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed event feature next year.
I always have fun talking with Kevin Feige about the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I had the chance to do just that last week during the Los Angeles press day for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I specifically brought up the four year gap that exists between James Gunn's movie and The Avengers: Infinity War, and in addition to confirming the dates, he noted that we will see a difference in the heroes as a result:
To provide some context, the four year gap between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Avengers: Infinity War featured some pretty major events on Earth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some highlights include the rise of Ultron, the implosion of Pym Technologies, the Sokovia Accords/superhero civil war, and the near conquering of Earth by Dormammu (not to mention whatever winds up happening in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther). If all of those things are happening on terra firma, just imagine all of the madness that's been going on with the Guardians out in the cosmos.
While Kevin Feige did 100% confirm that there will be a four year gap between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Avengers: Infinity War, he did also add that dates and such aren't always the most hard and fast things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (not too dissimilar to the way that time works in Marvel Comics). He noted that the setting of Guardians of the Galaxy is special because it is made specific by the prologue and title cards, but that the franchise does try and keep things flexible. Said Feige,
Fans will have the opportunity to reunite with Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Nebula, Yondu and more on the big screen in just a couple weeks, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arriving on May 5th. After seeing the movie, many of you will wonder like I did about what happens between the end of events and the start of The Avengers: Infinity War -- but we won't get those proper answers until May 4, 2018.