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Warning: minor spoilers ahead for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Read ahead at your own risk!
James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently in theaters, and his intergalactic sci-fi sequel has proven that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has not shown any signs of slowing down. Fans are clamoring to see where Gunn will take the series next (particularly with the tease of Adam Warlock entering the equation) but there's one very particular thing standing in his way. James Gunn wants to get started on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but he needs to wait for the events of The Avengers: Infinity War to play out first. Sean Gunn recently opened up and explained this dilemma, saying:
Sean Gunn's recent comments to FanFest at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in London seem to make it clear that continuity is currently the biggest thing standing in the way of the third Guardians of the Galaxy. Before he can make any real progress on that film's story, he will first need to allow the events of The Avengers: Infinity War to transpire; only then will the Marvel Cinematic Universe be in a position where the Guardians director can operate with his usual creative flourishes. He's a producer on Infinity War and has a stake in the story, but there's only so much he can do before The Russo brothers complete their next project.
This is not something that James Gunn really needed to concern himself with when developing the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films. Until now, the cosmic band of Marvel misfits was relatively insulated from Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and the rest of The Avengers, and their actual connection to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was tenuous at best. However, those two films have ultimately proven vital to the rest of the MCU because they planted major seeds for the storyline of Thanos and the Infinity Stones to play out in the next Avengers movie. Marvel has played the long game with Star-Lord and his team of anti-heroes, and it's clear that they are about to become far more important for the MCU as a whole.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now in theaters, and The Avengers: Infinity War will debut next year on May 4, 2018. For more information related to the rest of the major film releases slated for this year (superhero or otherwise) make sure to check out our 2017 movie premiere guide.