Since James Gunn's firing from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, there have been more questions than answers about the future of the MCU's most cosmic franchise. Would James Gunn be brought back? Would his script be used? Who will replace him? Will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 be delayed or will it happen at all? Some of these questions have been answered, but with production scheduled to begin this winter, it was clear that things had to get sorted out sooner rather than later. Now it appears that Marvel is not going to rush things, as the production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been put on hold.
This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter, which states that the small group prepping pre-production for the film have been dismissed. Pre-production was going to begin this fall in advance of a winter shooting start and the film was hiring crew to prepare for that, but now that has stopped. These crew members have been told that they are now free to look for new work. This delay in production has been characterized as a way to allow Marvel and Disney to regroup following James Gunn's firing. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 never had an official release date, but all the signs were pointing to 2020. Now the timeline for production at least has been pushed out.
It seems that Marvel and Disney aren't rushing to find a filmmaker to replace James Gunn. Apparently Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, one of the names brought up by fans to replace James Gunn on the film, has recently had a meeting with Marvel, but it is not known whether that was about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or something else. We can't technically say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been delayed since it never had an official release date, but this production push makes 2020 look less likely.
While I think we are all eager for more Guardians, this is probably the smartest move Marvel and Disney could make. After the final word came down that James Gunn would not be rehired, the studio would have needed to hire someone else and soon in advance of pre-production in the fall. The wound is still fresh and Dave Batista is still raging against it. A delay is probably the best thing for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This gives Marvel time to find the absolute right person for the job; someone who can work with the cast and the material. Whether James Gunn's script will be used or not is still an open question. A potential delay allows for everyone to get some distance from the disappointment of James Gunn being fired, and it's not like Marvel doesn't have a lot of characters and films that it can slot in wherever Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was intended to land.
Keep an eye on our guide and we'll keep you updated on the latest goings on with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.