There was very little we actually knew for sure about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before Kevin Feige took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend. However, one thing that we did know for sure was that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was a movie that was on the way. While its road the screen had been a rocky one, the movie was coming, and yet, the project got barely a mention on the Comic-Con stage.
Based on what was announced at SDCC this weekend, it looks like Phase 4 of the MCU won't even include the new Guardians movie, however, Kevin Feige did confirm that the film was still happening, and writer/director James Gunn did apologize to a fan on Twitter for the lack of information, but explained that he's working on another movie first.
The officially revealed, and dated, projects for the next phase of the MCU start with Black Widow next May and run through Thor: Love and Thunder in November of 2021. 10 different items were officially unveiled, though only half of them are actually big screen movies, the rest are series coming to Disney+. Assuming that those 10 projects are the entirety of Phase 4, then that means Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 won't even be part of this next phase, but is actually waiting for Phase 5.
If so, Guardians Vol 3 isn't alone. Other high profile, and high demand, sequels, like Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2 also got name dropped but not dated on the SDCC stage, along with whatever is planned for the future of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
We already knew that James Gunn was going to be filming The Suicide Squad before he got to work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That much had been made clear. However, we still didn't really know what the actual timeline was going to look like. While the third Guardians film had never been given an official release date, it was expected to be the first Phase 4 movie, hitting in May of 2020, the spot now occupied by Black Widow.
With The Suicide Squad not even set for release until August of 2021, it's hard to say if we could even see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 take one of the unclaimed Marvel release dates in 2022. It would depend on when SS2 filming actually starts and how hands on Gunn wants to be with Suicide Squad post-production before he jumps back in the director's chair for Guardians Vol. 3.
Certainly, fans of the two previous Guardians of the Galaxy movies don't want to wait for volume three any longer than necessary. Still, those same fans are mostly just happy the movie is happening at all. Hopefully, the wait will be worth it.