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Although Thor: Ragnarok will send The God of Thunder into the far reaches of space for the very first time, the film most definitely isn't the first to show us the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has traveled all over this territory, leading many to wonder if they will cross paths with Thor Odinson during his next adventure. So, how do the Guardians of the Galaxy factor into this story? Ragnarok executive producer Brad Winderbaum addressed this during a roundtable discussion when CinemaBlend visited the movie's set last year and explained the connection by explaining how the new movie looks and feels rooted in the Guardians world, saying:
There are elements of Guardians that will kind of work their way into our film, both stylistically and narratively. In the sense that, like all the Earthbound heroes kind of feel like they're living and breathing in the same air, certainly now that we're in space it feels, in a very MCU way, that we're living and breathing in the same air.
This isn't a terribly surprising revelation. After all, if another Marvel hero was going to cross paths with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise before The Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok would be the time to do it due to the shared DNA between both franchises. Not only will Guardians characters like The Broker actually appear in Thor: Ragnarok, but The Grandmaster is actually the brother of Guardians of the Galaxy's The Collector. Thor is now in the same playground as the heroes of James Gunn's Marvel films, which means the influence of those films (both visually and narratively) will seep into Taika Waititi's upcoming Marvel film.
Of course, that doesn't directly address the topic of whether or not the Guardians will literally appear in Thor: Ragnarok, and other information that we currently have about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe raises questions about how the Guardians of the Galaxy could factor into the events of the next adventure. In the first official trailer for The Avengers: Infinity War that debuted at D23, Thor actually meets the Guardians for the very first time -- we know that because he specifically asks who they are. If the MCU continues to move forward chronologically, then how could he meet the Guardians before Infinity War? As of right now, one of the only real explanations is that the story of Thor: Ragnarok could somehow overlap with the story of the next Avengers ensemble. It's entirely possible (and made even more believable by Brad Winderbaum's remarks), but we will have to wait and see.
Thor: Ragnarok will hit theaters later this year November 3, 2017, and The God of Thunder will definitely unite with Marvel's cosmic team of heroes when Thanos shows up in The Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018. Here's everything that we currently know about Ragnarok, and here's everything that we have on Infinity War as of right now.
With anticipation for Thor: Ragnarok officially ramping up, Marvel Studios has released some fantastic new character posters the accompany the film. Take a good look at them below.