A few weeks before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released, James Gunn announced on social media that he would return to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3. In the midst of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 enjoying critical and commercial popularity, Gunn has been tackling the script for the third movie, and as of yesterday he's finished the first draft. However, there is a problem Gunn's been facing while crafting his latest cosmic Marvel story: working around established continuity that he set up. Gunn explained:
I'm writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and I finished the first draft of the treatment yesterday. I'm excited about it. I feel really great about it. But there's one little thing that I had in the first movie. Now, Marvel Canon---MCU---is crazy. There's the 616 universe which is the Marvel Comics Universe, which people get hung up on that canon, and then there's the MCU, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has a separate canon (inspired by but not exactly the same as the 616.) I did something in the first movie of Guardians where it was in the background but it was distinctly there, and people know that it's there. And I'm like goddammit. Because I have a really good storytelling reason for breaking the canon, and I stayed up last night figuring out if I'm gonna do it or not. I still don't know.
Comic book mythology, especially where Marvel and DC are concerned, is daunting even to the most knowledgeable readers. In addition to the main continuity, which is filled with decades worth of events, there are numerous other realities that make specific changes to beloved characters, not to mention introduce brand new heroes and villains from time to time. Comic book movies are free to twist certain elements from the comics to fit the story being told, but now James Gunn is facing a predicament where he's not sure if he wants to change something that he threw into the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, thus breaking his own canon.
In fact, James Gunn decided to inform the audience at the E3 World Building Panel what he wants to alter for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, saying it's one of the tidbits of information on the Guardians shown when they were being processed by the Nova Corps. Gunn stated:
I'll actually tell ya. In the first movie there is the mugshot sequence where the characters go through and they're going through the mugshots and having their picture taken. And the Nova Corps has information about each of the characters coming up on their machinery. Those things are something that your average viewer doesn't see at all. But there's a lot of background I put into those things about who they've worked with, where they are from, what's going on. And it's one of those things that I'm thinking about changing.
If James Gunn just want to make a small background alteration, then that wouldn't be the biggest deal in the world, though no doubt some of the more passionate Marvel fans would call him out on it online. No plot details for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 have been revealed yet, but Gunn has said that it will "conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy" and "catapult" both old and new Marvel characters into the next decade and beyond.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 hasn't been assigned a release date yet, but you can see the superhero team back on the big screen when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018.