When will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 be released, and what’s going on with James Gunn??

Here’s what to expect from the upcoming Marvel sequel following the firing - and shock re-hiring - of director James Gunn

L to R: Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)

DIsney, Marvel, sky pics, TL

The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is one of Marvel’s biggest hitters, and fans are already excited to see what’s coming in the story’s third instalment.

Advertisement

However, some shocking behind-the-scenes changes have put the movie’s future in doubt – so here’s what you need to know about the conclusion to the spacefaring saga.


When is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming to cinemas?

*UPDATE* A recent report in The Hollywood Reporter about the actors’ pay for Avengers: Endgame suggested that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is planned for a 2020 shoot, meaning it might not be too long before things get kicking on.

This follows the firing (then re-hiring, see below) of the film’s director which delayed the film, though star Chris Pratt has been assuring fans it’s still definitely in the pipeline.

“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.”


What’s the film about?

Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel, HF)
Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel)

The sequel to the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, Vol. 3 will tell the continuing story of the intergalactic “A-Holes” who saved the galaxy from Ronan the Accuser and Ego in previous movies.

It’s expected that the film will deal with the fallout from the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, while also ushering in a more cosmic age for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Director James Gunn previously suggested that the film could involve the popular comic-book character Adam Warlock (who was teased in the previous movie) and the return of Elisabeth Debicki’s Vol. 2 character Ayesha, as well as providing an “epic conclusion” to the story that would draw this version of the team to a close.


What’s happening with James Gunn?

James Gunn
James Gunn (Getty)

Well, this is still the biggest news around this film at the moment, as James Gunn (writer/director of the first two Guardians films) was sensationally fired – then re-hired –  after ten-year-old tweets resurfaced in which he made dark jokes related to child abuse and rape.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said of the firing: “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible.

“[They are] inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”

Following this, rumours abounded about who could replace Gunn in the director’s chair while his cast signed an open letter asking Disney to reinstate him (with actor Dave Bautista a particularly staunch defender) – but then unexpectedly it was reported that Disney had rethought Gunn’s firing, with the director later confirming on Twitter that he was back working on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months,” Gunn wrote. “I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be.

“I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all.

“I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Love to you all.”

In a candid interview with Deadline, the director spoke in greater detail about his shock sacking from the film last year, revealing he thought it could be the end of his career.

“Disney totally had the right to fire me. This wasn’t a free speech issue. I said something they didn’t like and they completely had the right to fire me. There was never any argument of that,” he explained.

“I don’t blame anyone. I feel and have felt bad for a while about some of the ways I spoke publicly; some of the jokes I made, some of the targets of my humour, just the unintentional consequences of not being more compassionate in what I’m putting out there. I know that people have been hurt by things that I’ve said, and that’s still my responsibility.

“It happened, and suddenly it seemed like everything was gone. I just knew, in a moment that happened incredibly quickly, I had been fired. It felt as if my career was over.”

He added that it was support from the cast, and from his friends, that helped him through the difficult period.

“And then came this outpouring of real love. From my girlfriend Jen; my producer and my agents; Chris Pratt calling me and freaking out; Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan, all calling and crying. Sylvester Stallone FaceTime-ing me. And, of course, Dave Bautista, who came out so strong. That amount of love that I felt from my friends, my family, and the people in the community was absolutely overwhelming,” he said.


Is there a Guardians of the Galaxy 3 script?

Yes – and while Gunn might be a while before directing the new film, fans can take some comfort from the fact that the script is already complete.

“Yeah I have [read it],” star Chris Pratt said. “It’s off the chain. It’s so good. It’s so good.”


Who’s in the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel, HF

Fans can probably expect Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Vin Diesel (Groot) and Pom Klementieff (Mantis) to be back to their outer-space adventures in Vol. 3.

That is, of course, assuming that many of the characters’ deaths in Avengers: Infinity War end up being reversed. By the end of the 2018 blockbuster Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis and Groot had been turned to dust by Thanos (Josh Brolin), while Saldana’s Gamora was thrown to her death off a cliff.

Advertisement

Of the main cast, only Rocket and Nebula were left alive by the end of Infinity War, which would be a fairly stripped-back version of the franchise to say the least…