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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a well-oiled machine at this point, with every single installment in Phase Three being a critical and box office success. Fans are eager to see Phase Four kick off, although there have been a few bumps along the way. Black Widow was delayed until November, although James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was originally set to open the next slate of movies. The highly anticipated threequel was going to arrive in theaters this month, although Gunn has found some silver lining in the movie's lengthy delay.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was gearing up to film when James Gunn was (temporarily) fired by Marvel Studios. This delayed the upcoming sequel inevitably, especially since Gunn took a gig directing The Suicide Squad. The beloved filmmaker recently reflected on this on social media, and found the silver lining in Guardians 3's delay. Namely, that theaters aren't even open at this time. As he put it,
While Marvel fans are eager for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to start filming and finally arrive in theaters, James Gunn has a fair mount. Because even if he wasn't fired from the highly anticipated threequel, it still wouldn't have made its original release date this May. That date simply wasn't in the cards for the movie regardless of the drama that briefly removed Gunn from his role as director.
James Gunn shared his thoughts on Twitter, which he regularly uses to directly communicate with fans. While the social media outlet is also the reason why he landed in hot water over decade-old inappropriate jokes, he's still a regular Twitter user, often fielding questions from the public and shooting down rumors in the process. This time he reflected inward on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's long journey to theaters. After all, the movie hasn't even begun filming yet, as the filmmaker has been busy in the DCEU.
Marvel fans can re-watch the Guardians of the Galaxy's time in the MCU on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
While it was originally set to hit theaters in May of 2020, it currently looks like it's going to be released sometime in 2021. Of course, all of this depends on when exactly the movie can begin production safely, as well as how the current MCU schedule is updated. Black Widow's delay saw the movie taking the date intended for The Eternals, which has the potential to shift every other expected blockbuster back. So there's no telling exactly when the Guardians franchise will continue, with Vol. 3 wrapping up the story that began with James Gunn's original 2014 blockbuster.
Narratively, there are a ton of places for James Gunn to take Guardians 3, especially after the events of Infinity War and Endgame. Gamora was killed by Thanos, and was "resurrected" by having a pre-Guardians of the Galaxy version of the character joining the MCU from 2014. Additionally, Star-Lord, Groot, Drax, and Mantis were all dusted by The Snap, leaving just Nebula and Rocket behind. Gunn has stated that the franchise is largely about trauma, and now the group has even more to cope with.
The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on November 6th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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