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Marvel Studios is known for maintaining an air of mystery surrounding all of their projects, but James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is perhaps the biggest question mark of them all right now. The film has been in development since before the release of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, but the plan that existed was thrown for a loop when Gunn was fired in 2018, and then rehired in 2019. Since then, his second sequel has been in limbo.

We have a lot of questions about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3… so we figured why not organize all of them in one big feature – talking out not only why the questions exist, but also tossing up potential answers. Let’s start with the big one that is surely at the forefront of fans’ minds:

When Will Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Be Released?

In the last year, Marvel Studios has announced a lot of their future plans, both on the big screen and on Disney+, but one title that is currently missing from their set schedule is Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. Based on comments by James Gunn, the original plan was to have the blockbuster ready to come out in 2020 – right in the wake of the events in Avengers: Endgame – but the aforementioned firing/rehiring episode through a wrench into the gears.

The fact that James Gunn is currently working within the DC Extended Universe on The Suicide Squad isn’t really a factor, as that movie is on schedule to come out in mid-2021, and Marvel Studios has firmed up their slate through July 2022. It could wind up being the franchise’s fall 2022 release, but if the tradition of releasing Guardians titles in the summer wants to be maintained we’ll have to wait until 2023 for the next chapter.

Will Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Be Impacted By The Movies Around It On The Schedule?

The heart of what’s special about the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that every new release is essentially a puzzle piece adding to the bigger picture. While individually a blockbuster may not have a story that creates big ripple effects in the franchise, each one still simultaneously expands the universe and tells audiences about events during a place and time in the canon. Because of this, the placement of a title on the studio’s release schedule has a certain significance – and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 won’t likely be an exception.

As mentioned before, there were early ideas to have the next James Gunn-directed Marvel film be released in the wake of Avengers: Endgame, and one has to imagine that this placement would have left the film to showcase a fair amount of fallout from Thanos’ attempt to eliminate half the universe. But will that still be the case? We’ll likely see the impact of Endgame on the cosmos in both Thor: Love And Thunder and the untitled Captain Marvel 2, so where does that leave Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Will We See The Guardians Of The Galaxy Again Before Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3?

There is no denying the popularity of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The team entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as serious underdogs, but their films have been crazy successful, and fans loved seeing them interact with the rest of the franchise’s heroes in the last two Avengers titles. This in mind, it seems crazy that Marvel would just let the characters sit on the shelf for up to four years – which would happen if Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 doesn’t come out until 2023, and the heroes don’t appear in any other movie between now and then. So the question is: could we see Guardians cameos in one of the eight films that exist on the release calendar?

If the characters are going to cameo in an upcoming project, the safe money would surely be on Thor: Love And Thunder for what should be reasons obvious to anyone who watched the last 20 minutes of Avengers: Endgame. With jokes about become the Asguardians Of The Galaxy, the team was last seen giving the God of Thunder a ride off of Earth, so it wouldn’t be altogether surprising if they showed up at the very least at the start of the upcoming Taika Waititi film. Whether or not that will happen, though, is very much up in the air.

Will Thor Be In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3?

Thinking about that previous query, the old phrase “one good turn deserves another” comes to mind. If the Guardians of the Galaxy were to make some kind of special appearance in Thor: Love And Thunder, is it totally preposterous to think that James Gunn might return the favor and give Chris Hemsworth a tiny role to play in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? It’s a fair question even if the answer might end up being “probably not.”

There are a number of factors to keep in mind here, the big one being that we don’t really know what the future holds for Thor as a character beyond Thor: Love And Thunder. The Chris Hemsworth character is the first Marvel hero to see their solo series go to four chapters, and while it would certainly be sad, it wouldn’t be too shocking if the film were to wind up being his big goodbye. This is a question that may not have a clear answer until the blockbuster comes out in February 2022, so be patient!

Will We See The Guardians Of The Galaxy Team Roster Change?

Over the course of their time on the big screen, the look of the Guardians of the Galaxy has changed a lot, and the number of characters on the roster has varied. At its smallest the unit has featured four heroes (specifically after Groot’s death in Guardians Of The Galaxy) and at its biggest it has boasted eight (prior to the death of Yondu in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2). That leaves us with some expectation that the lineup will continue to evolve in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but what’s unclear is how.

At this point in time we don’t even know if Gamora will be a part of the team (more on that in a minute), and it’s entirely possible that James Gunn will find a way for the film to introduce a wholly new hero who winds up joining the ranks. Needless to say, we’ll be paying very close attention to any casting news that features an actor joining Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 who has never been in a Marvel movie before and isn’t announced as the villain (again, more on that in a minute).

How Will Gamora Be Different In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3?

The Gamora that audiences met in Guardians Of The Galaxy and got to know in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War is dead. In his quest to attain the Soul Stone, Thanos sacrificed her, and she met her end at the bottom of a cliff on Morag. That being said, her presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t concluded. Through the plot events in Avengers: Endgame, a version of 2014 Gamora was able to time travel to the future, and remained alive even after Thanos and his army were turned to dust. Given the fact that she has a pulse, it’s expected that she will be back for the adventure that is Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, but what’s unclear presently is how she will be different than the character we knew.

For starters, when we catch up with Gamora it’s likely that she won’t have the same kind of bond that she formed with Star-Lord through their earliest adventures – and it actually may be Nebula who is far and away her closest confidant (which is funny when you consider their past… conflicts). Much of this question depends on when Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is set in regards to Avengers: Endgame, so the picture will become clearer when that’s established.

Who Will The Villain Be In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3?

The Guardians Of The Galaxy movies have had an interesting run when it comes to antagonists. First they were able to takedown the revenge-hungry Ronan The Accuser, then destroy the living planet known as Ego, and most recently they helped in a big way finally taking down Thanos. All of these fights have been fun to watch, which is why the identity of the villain in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is an intriguing mystery.

There are one of two directions to go: the film could either have the characters face off against a brand new threat, or they could find themselves up against an old enemy. Both are on the table at this point – but the most enticing part of this question factors in one of the many end credits sequences of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. After all, Elizabeth Debicki's Ayesha looked pretty damn menacing in her final moments while working to give birth to the universe’s most perfect being, Adam Warlock. The creation may end up taking a turn for the heroic, as he does in the comics, but that will still leave Ayesha as a threat.

Will Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Feature The Ending That James Gunn Envisioned Years Ago?

Prior to the release of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn not only announced that Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 was going to be a thing, but that it would conclude the story of the original iteration of team. This announcement by itself suggested that the writer/director had a particular ending in mind for the family of heroes he established on the big screen, but what we don’t now at present is if Gunn’s original approach is still going to work by the time Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 arrives in theaters.

Once again there are a lot of variables here that make the situation a bit foggy. Given the history between James Gunn and Marvel, it’s possible that the studio is doing everything in their power to try and maintain a certain status quo that allows the filmmaker to execute his vision as originally planned, but certain circumstances may wind up being untenable and force things to change.

How Will Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Pave The Way For The Future?

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 looks to be a trilogy capstone for a fantastic arc first launched in 2014, but just because we may see the team as we know it disband doesn’t mean that we’ll see the characters just disappear into the vastness of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Given the fact that these are heroes who fans have loved to see on the big screen, it’s perfectly realistic that Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, and Nebula will wind up being utilized in stories that aren’t part of the original series. The big question, is if the second Guardians sequel will make efforts to set up those future adventures.

We’ve heard fans clamor in the past for a Rocket & Groot spin-off, but is that something that Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 could set up? What about perhaps Gamora, Mantis, and Nebula being recruited for a big screen version of Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps? As things stand, nothing seems to be off the table.

What are the biggest questions you currently have about Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3? Hit the comments section to let us know your thoughts on the matter, and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our Marvel Cinematic Universe coverage.