Marvel Studios has very purposefully kept their future plans beyond the untitled Avengers 4 a secret, but a few months back we received a significant clue about what to expect. In announcing that he would be back to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn revealed that it is also his intention to help seriously expand the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's cosmic side leading into the next ten to 20 years. It was news that we've been thinking about ever since, weighing the pros and cons of the approach, and now we've decided to translate that pondering into feature form.

Obviously Marvel Studios isn't totally giving up on Earth-bound stories (we already know Spider-Man is getting a sequel in 2019), but is the best choice for the future of the massive franchise to greatly expand their investment in aliens, starships, and space-set stories? We break it all down below and across the next few pages, so read on, and tell us what you think in the comments section below!

Guardians of the Galaxy Ravager Ship

Pro: There are a lot of great cosmic characters who can't just be explored in Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

While recently talking about the end credits scenes featured in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, writer/director James Gunn made an interesting note: the teases of Yondu's original Ravager team and Adam Warlock may have seemed like hints towards Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, that's not necessarily the case. This news actually came as a bit of a relief to those imagining the challenge of dovetailing those two disparate stories into one narrative, but has also left us wondering exactly how both exciting threads will wind up being serviced in upcoming blockbusters. The answer, naturally, is Marvel's plans for an expanded focus on cosmic stories, which wonderfully highlights one of the move's benefits.

Making more than just Guardians of the Galaxy movies set in the outer reaches of space will not only give Marvel Studios the opportunity to give characters like the Guardians 3000 team or Adam Warlock their very own films, but also so, so much more. There are hundreds of great heroes and villains that exist in the annals of Marvel Comics, and an expansion of the cosmic films will provide them the potential real estate needed to launch onto the big screen.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3000

Con: Marvel Cosmic has a long history, but its overall popularity really doesn't compare.

Both Earth-bound and cosmic stories have been told in the pages of Marvel Comics ever since the company's doors opened, and both have earned legions of fans and loyal readers, but there's also no denying which side has ranks higher in the popularity department. Hell, there's a reason why nobody knew who the Guardians of the Galaxy were before the movie -- despite the fact that the team has been around since the late 1960s. In this arena, consumer demand has been pretty clear, so might not be the best call to heavily favor the cosmic side when it comes to allocating resources.

The number of Marvel Studios movies being released per year has steadily risen since 2008, but there is a ceiling that can be hit, and they're getting pretty damn close to it. There are only so many viable release dates available throughout the year, and then there's the looming risk of saturating the market. This in mind, it's hard not to imagine development of Earth-bound stories slowing in favor of outer space narratives, and that isn't the greatest news to fans who have shown preference over the "local" tales for decades.

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