Until his sudden dismissal in July 2018, James Gunn was synonymous with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. With two hit films under his belt, the writer-director was busy penning a script for a hotly-anticipated third instalment.
But when a series of offensive old tweets came to light, Disney abruptly removed Gunn from the production and the film has been in limbo ever since.
The Guardians cast – which includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan – signed an open letter calling on Disney to reinstate their director, but the studio stood firm and Gunn has since crossed over to the DC Universe, lined up to direct a new take on Suicide Squad.
Meanwhile, there’s been limited public movement on Vol. 3 with production put on hold last August and fans wondering if it will ever come to fruition.
So, Chris Pratt’s reassurance that a third film will be made comes as something of a relief.
“I promise there’ll be a third movie,” he told Variety at the Lego Movie 2 premiere.
“I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but I know everyone on board is just eager to give the fans what they want and wrap up a trilogy in a meaningful way.”
It’s good news for fans. But there was a time when the Guardians were one of Marvel’s most successful superhero groupings with critical acclaim, huge box office returns and a third film set for 2020.
It remains to be seen who will write and direct the final film – and whether it can match the dizzy heights the franchise’s fans have come to expect.