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Since they first arrived in theaters in 2014, the Guardians of the Galaxy have become fan favorite characters within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While originally functioning in their own corner of the shared universe, the Guardians crossed over with the other heroes for Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Moviegoers loved seeing them interacting with The Avengers, especially Thor. But it turns out that they were originally only going to get a cameo in Infinity War.
The Russo Brothers did the impossible with their pair of Avengers movies, balancing a huge cast of characters and harkening back to the MCU's history. The Guardians got to participate in the biggest battle sequences of those two blockbusters, but that wasn't always the plan. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was recently asked if his writing on Vol. 2 was influenced by the team's upcoming crossover, to which he said:
What a bombshell. It looks like the Guardians of the Galaxy weren't always going to have such a significant role in Avengers: Infinity War. But something changed along the way, possibly the public's response to the motley crew of heroes. And as a result, the campy heroes played a major role in the events of the last two Avengers movies.
James Gunn's comments come from his personal Twitter page. While participating in Comic Book's #QuarantineWatchParty for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Gunn directly communicated with the fans about his process writing the script. It was during this time where Gunn got word about the Guardians becoming a larger role in Avengers: Infinity War, although it's unclear how that might have affected his writing.
It's hard to imagine Star-Lord, Gamora and the crew in such a small role, considering how the Guardians affected the story of Infinity War. After running into Thor in space, the Guardians split into two groups: Rocket and Groot travel with Thor to Nidavellir, while the rest tried to intercept Thanos before he could acquire the Reality Stone on Knowhere. The latter group also eventually meets up with Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man on Titan to battle with Josh Brolin's villain.
Marvel fans can re-watch the Guardians' tenure in the MCU on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
The Guardians were also hit very hard by the effects of Thanos' snap. Groot, Drax, Mantis, and Star-Lord were all dusted. And with Gamora killed by Thanos earlier in Infinity War, only Rocket and Nebulua were left standing. This grief bonded the two surviving members, in a dynamic that I'm eager to see fleshed out in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
James Gunn helped to craft the Guardians' scenes in Infinity War, ensuring that the franchise's tone and characters' personalties were honored. The result was a joy for Marvel fans, as they helped buoy the high-stakes blockbuster with moments of levity. And we should expect more crossovers in the future, as the Guardians are going to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder after departed for space together at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
The MCU will continue with Black Widow on November 6th. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.