After a stint with the DC Extended Universe, James Gunn is back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a third Guardians of the Galaxy film. The film is set to close things out for Gunn's universe-spanning trilogy and the ragtag bunch of unlikely heroes once it releases in 2023. Although the likes of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Racoon, and Groot, have all become fan favorites, it appears that changes are coming very soon.
According to James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is "big and dark," which would separate it from the first two installments. More importantly, the third chapter will bring major changes to the group's core roster.
Gunn's first MCU film, 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, put him on the radar as his efforts to craft an entertaining film featuring B-level comic book heroes at best paid off. After returning for an even more successful Vol. 2 in 2017, Gunn's future with the MCU was murky for a while. It wasn't until the film's stars rallied behind Gunn and a commitment to work on The Suicide Squad that Marvel Studios brought the director back for a third and possibly final film.
Having said that, Gunn's "warning" is quite interesting after he mentioned before that a fourth film would feature an entirely new squad. Of course, Marvel Studios hasn't greenlit a new Guardians of the Galaxy sequel yet, so we wouldn't be surprised if plans change. But, for now, it wouldn't hurt to believe what Gunn said. In addition to his credibility as a source - he is the film's director, after all - the members of the OG squad only signed on until their fifth MCU film, which is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
If it's any consolation, Marvel Studios has proven that it can take a relatively unknown group of comic book superheroes and make a hit blockbuster film out of them. Even Eternals, which hit a historic low among critics, has been a massive success both at the global box office and on Disney+.
Should Gunn return to helm Guardians of the Galaxy 4, we do not doubt that he'll find a way to replicate his success with his previous MCU outings so far.
In other Guardians of the Galaxy news, Sylvester Stallone "confirmed" back in November that he will reprise his role for the second time. Gunn also revealed last year that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will premiere as intended on May 5, 2023. Finally, if you miss Star-Lord and the gang, you can check out Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.