James Gunn Explains Why Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Was So Hard, Despite It Being His 'Favorite' Movie

the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
(Image credit: Marvel)

It’s no secret that the making of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has not been an easy task. James Gunn has been extremely vocal about how difficult this process has been, but has also shown all the love and joy that went into this film as it is coming together.

The process of creating GOTG Vol. 3 started not so hot with Marvel (temporarily) firing James Gunn over a Twitter controversy. The cast banded together publishing a statement to Marvel standing with Gunn before he was ultimately brought back into the MCU fold. On top of the rocky start, Gunn has been open about how personal this story is to him, especially when it comes to the character Rocket. When the film wrapped, Gunn tweeted a photo of the cast together along with a few words about how much it meant to him, despite it being "very difficult" to complete. 

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While James Gunn doesn't extrapolate out on why filming was so much more complex than the previous two movies with Star-Lord and co., given what we've seen about the expansive scope of Marvel sequels in the past, his comments make sense. The good news is he has spoken about his love for Rocket and said his origin will be revealed in Vol. 3, so we do have some indication of what to expect from the sequel. In fact, exclusive footage from San Diego Comic-Con left the crowd in Hall H teary-eyed and the cast incredibly emotional. 

It makes a lot of sense that Gunn is so emotional about the closing of this chapter. Before Guardians of the Galaxy, he was more known for niche projects like Slither, yet these movies made him and his cast household names. Between this life-changing trilogy of films and the clear love the cast and crew have for each other mixed with the messy time between Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, it's understandable there would be a lot of feelings surrounding the upcoming Marvel Phase Five film. 

After shooting wrapped, many of the movie’s stars shared photos about how much the franchise and Gunn mean to them. Karen Gillan posted a photo on Instagram saying “I don’t know if Nebula will return beyond this, it’s possible that this is her final chapter.” Then, she thanked Gunn for the opportunity to play the character. Dave Bautista posted a group photo with a caption that included “End of a journey that changed my life.” 

People like Gillan, Bautista and Chris Pratt went on to star in major franchises after the first Guardians of the Galaxy while the film made already A-List stars like Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel even bigger. Gunn has also gone on to direct some of DC movies’ best projects in recent years with The Suicide Squad and HBO Max’s series Peacemaker

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. But, for now, we can look forward the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in December on Disney+ and the final stand for the Guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which hits theaters May 5, 2023.

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.