There's few film models quite as fascinating and wildly successful as serialized storytelling, started famously by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios and Disney have crafted a massive world of superheroes and villains, with every single blockbuster in Phase Three being both a critical and financial success. While critics fear superhero fatigue, challenging franchises like Guardians of the Galaxy help to keep the genre unexpected and fresh. James Gunn brought a colorful and quirky story into the MCU, which was further expanded with the film's sequel. Gunn and the cast are set to return for a threequel, but could there be more Guardians films afterward? Maybe, but they're probably not going to include James Gunn and the cast. As Gunn tells it,

Well, that's that. James Gunn seems to put the kabosh on returning for another Guardians of the Galaxy film. While the brand itself will probably still be used by the MCU, these characters' stories will end with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

James Gunn's recent Tweet comes after Marvel fans were debating whether or not he could continue the Guardians franchise after the upcoming threequel. While the characters are beloved and there's obviously plenty of great ideas in Gunn's delightfully twisted mind, continuing the franchise indefinitely isn't a model that the director/writer seems interested in. Instead, he's crafting a narrative that's spread thoughtfully over three films. Plus there's the Guardians' inclusion in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.

Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.

Speaking of the Avengers franchise, it's currently unclear how Guardians 3 will function in the wake of the Russo Brothers' deadly twists in Infinity War. Almost all of the team fell throughout the course of the movie, with Rocket currently the sole survivor in the canon. It seems logical that the characters Thanos destroyed with his finger snap of death might return in the course of Avengers 4, but what about Gamora? Rather than being killed due to the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos physically killed his daughter in order to gain access to the Soul Stone. It was an emotional and tragic scene, and it would probably be cheapened if Gamora was resurrected as well.

The future of the Guardians seem truly up in the air, despite Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 being one of the few movies confirmed after Marvel's Phase Three. Everyone involved with both franchises has been very good about keeping tight lipped, so we're just going to have to patiently wait for Marvel to reveal the truth over the coming year or so.

Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to arrive sometime in 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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