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Around this time last year, it was looking like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be one of the the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to be released during Phase 4, but now that James Gunn has been fired from Marvel, it’s unclear when that threequel will arrive. However, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has clarified to CinemaBlend that Gunn’s influence will still be felt in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 script, though not necessarily throughout other areas of Phase 4. In Feige’s words:
His influence was Guardians. It was Guardians. It was his input on Guardians and the Avengers films, as you've seen in Infinity War, and on the Guardians 3 script, which we’re still using. So you'll see that influence. I think online, sort of the notion of ‘architect across multiple cosmic things’ was slightly blown out of proportion.
The latter half of Kevin Feige’s comment to our own Eric Eisenberg refers to back in 2017, when James Gunn stated that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would help launch a new era of cosmic MCU stories, and that he would help Feige and the other creative minds involved with these stories and ensure that the cosmic side of the MCU “is as special and authentic and magical as what we have created so far.” Obviously that’s no longer going to happen, but Feige has now made sure that people know that the plan wasn’t for Gunn to be the master architect of all things MCU cosmic, including the The Eternals and, assuming the first movie does well, a Captain Marvel sequel.
In terms of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 script, though, Kevin Feige confirmed that James Gunn’s draft will still be used, which Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt said earlier this month. Needless to say that although several Guardians of the Galaxy teams already existed in the comics, Gunn’s ‘voice’ was definitely felt in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and was undoubtedly part of the reason these characters became so popular to the general public. That’s also why he contributed to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, since the Guardians finally got to interact with other Marvel heroes. So it sounds like we don’t need to worry about Gunn’s ‘voice’ being completely wiped away from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. although I do wonder how much of his script will be altered once a new director is hired.
As for James Gunn’s future, while he’s no longer working in the MCU, he is lending his talents to a different comic book franchise. It was confirmed earlier this month that in addition to writing The Suicide Squad, he will also direct the DC Extended Universe feature. It’s been said that The Suicide Squad will be less of a direct sequel and more of a relaunch for the anti-hero property, although there’s word that Margot Robbie will be back as Harley Quinn. That movie comes out on August 6, 2021.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on what’s happening with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. For now, you can look through our Marvel movies guide to find out what else is coming out during Phase 4.