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James Gunn Knows The ‘Third Film In Trilogies Sucks.’ Why Fans Should Expect Something Different With Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket posed in Guardians of the Galaxy banner
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

As the world watches the events of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad spinoff series Peacemaker unfold on HBO Max, the filmmaker is currently in the middle of shooting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, one of the many upcoming Marvel movies. Although the Guardians existed in Marvel Comics lore before they made their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, Gunn unquestionably helped popularize them for the general public, and now he’s getting ready to wrap up their cinematic arc. The writer/director is also aware that “the third film in most trilogies suck,” though he’s confident this won’t happen with Vol. 3.

James Gunn acknowledged the bad track record threequels often have while speaking with Deadline, but he added that this is “not always” the case. After mentioning that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the last time we see this particular team together, Gunn shared the following tease on what we can expect from the MCU movie:

It’s big; it’s so, so big and dark, and different from what people might be expecting it to be.

James Gunn also said that he wants to “be true to the characters” and “give people the wrap-up that they deserve for the story.” Originally the plan was for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to come out in 2020, but during the hiatus period when Gunn had been fired from the project and subsequently rehired, he was brought aboard to make The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. and DC. Between that and Gunn later turning his attention to Peacemaker, Vol. 3 didn’t start rolling cameras until November 2021. Alas, audiences will have to wait until summer 2023 until they learn just what Gunn specifically means by this movie being “big,” “dark” and “different.”

When we last left off with the Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Endgame, they’d departed Earth with Thor coming along for the ride, and Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, specifically intent on finding the time-displaced Gamora. Luckily for fans of this MCU team, they won’t have to wait until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to reunite with most of them. Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, Nebula and their ally Kraglin will appear beforehand in Thor: Love and Thunder, and Gunn consulted with Taika Waititi on how the characters were bring used.

Understandably, James Gunn and Marvel Studios are keeping tight-lipped right now about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s plot, but in addition to all the main protagonists returning, we’ll also reunite with Sylvester Stallone’s Stakar Ogord, a powerful Ravager who was introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Vol. 3 will also feature the introduction of Midsommar’s Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, who was teased in one of Vol. 2’s end-credits scenes. Additionally, Chukwudi Iwuji, who plays Clemson Murn on Peacemaker, has been cast as an unidentified character he’s described as  “powerful” and “complex.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is slated to hit theaters on May 5, 2023. Until then, you can stream the other two Guardians of the Galaxy movies (and nearly every other MCU installment) on Disney+, and be sure to follow along with CinemaBlend for more updates on the threequel’s progress.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.