One of the perks of being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that anyone can pop anywhere at any time. But Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn says the upcoming threequel will mark the official end to the superhero team-up franchise he began back in 2014.
"This is the end for us, the last time people will see this team of Guardians," Gunn teased on Deadline's Hero Nation podcast.
So, what exactly does that mean? When pressed on Twitter, he did indeed confirm that this team – consisting of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) – will not appear in any future MCU movies together. He also confirmed that this has always been the plan.
"It's big. It's so, so big and dark and different from what people might be expecting it to be," Gunn said of Vol. 3, which is currently filming. "I just want to be true to the characters, the story. And give people the wrap-up that they deserve for the story. That's always a little bit scary. I'm doing my best. I'm aware that the third film in most trilogies sucks – -- not always."
Admittedly, that does not mean that we won't ever see any of these characters again; just that we won't see them in this particular assemblage. Until the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 next year, the Guardians (at least, the ones still together at the end of Avengers: Endgame) will be seen appearing in July's Thor: Love and Thunder. Then, the team will reunite later this year in December for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, an upcoming TV special created, written, and directed by James Gunn for Disney+.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to hit theaters on May 5, 2023.