Does Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 Set Up Phases Four And Five Of The MCU? Here’s What James Gunn Said

Drax, Star-Lord, and Gamora in Guardians 2

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a number of iconic franchises, with Guardians of the Galaxy serving as one of the most beloved. James Gunn turned a motley crew of unknown heroes into fan favorites, and moviegoers can’t wait to see how the trilogy wraps up with Vol. 3. But will the upcoming threequel set up Phases Four and Five of the MCU? Here’s what Gunn himself said.

The MCU brought serialized storytelling to theaters, resulting in other studios creating their own cinematic universes. Many Marvel projects set up future installments, so fans are wondering if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be doing just that. Gunn recently addressed his relationship with Marvel studios, saying:

The only time they ever [asked me to include something for future MCU movies] was on the first movie with Thanos, putting Thanos in there. Which they wanted me to do. But besides that they’ve never done that. I have to pay attention to things that happen, which they did talk to me about – the stuff with Gamora and things like that. I know that the characters have been through certain things, so I have to deal with that stuff. But for the most part, they never once asked me to put anything in the script for Vol. 3 to set up anything in the future. Nor would I do it, frankly, it’s not really my thing.

Interesting. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be very much impacted by previous events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems that James Gunn is telling his own story. And it’s not one that is setting up narrative seeds for Phase Four and beyond.

James Gunn’s comments to Collider come ahead of the upcoming release The Suicide Squad. Eventually the conversation turned back to Marvel, and the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy threequel. It seems that Gunn is wrapping up his trilogy of movies, rather than trying to do any set-up for future installments.

Marvel fans can re-watch the Guardians of the Galaxy’s time in the MCU on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

As James Gunn mentioned, the only time Marvel Studios asked him to add something to one of his movies was the inclusion of Thanos in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The Mad Titan had already been teased for years, but his brief role was the debut of Josh Brolin as the villain. Other than that, Gunn has been given creative freedom over his motley crew of heroes.

James Gunn and the Guardians of the Galaxy cast have been keeping their cards close to the chest, but it certainly sounds like the filmmaker is preparing an emotional story for his third (and final?) installment in the property. The franchise is ultimately about the trauma of its cast, and the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame gave them a whole bunch more.

Black Widow is in theaters now, and the next installment in the MCU is Shang-Chi on September 3rd. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.