James Gunn: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 to “set up the next 10-20 years of Marvel”!

The folks at Marvel Studios have made a pretty big to-do about the fact that AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and AVENGERS 4 will be the “culmination” of the vision they imagined for the MCU when they launched the game-changing shared universe nearly ten years ago. So what comes next? Aside from the sequel to SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING which will pick up minutes after AVENGERS 4, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 holds some of the answers, it seems.

GUARDIANS helmer James Gunn dropped in on Facebook Live today to promote the home video release of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, and in true Gunnsian fashion, he opened up the floor to some fan questions. Gunn reiterated some stuff we’ve heard before — it’s not teenage Groot, it’s adolescent Groot, and a few new tidbits — Yondu will communicate with Peter through the music on his Zune the way Meredith did with her cassette tapes. But the big info popped up at the very end of the Q&A when a fan asked if they ever consider putting Richard Rider, aka Nova, in future MCU films.

Here’s what Gunn said,

“Yes, definitely. Nova comes up occasionally as someone we might use. One of the things I’m doing with creating Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it will take place after the next wo Avengers movies and it will help to set up the next 10, 20 years of Marvel movies. It’s going to really expand the cosmic universe. We’re going to be setting up new characters. It will be the last movie of this version of Guardians of the Galaxy.”

No release date is currently set for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3, but Gunn previously hinted at a 2020 release, telling fans “I’ll continue being here with you over the next three years as we create Vol. 3,” in a Facebook post earlier this year. And this sounds an awful lot like VOL. 3 will set up the new incarnation of the Marvel universe after AVENGERS 4 closes the chapter on the first three phases. And it’s a move that makes sense from Marvel’s point of view. Gunn pioneered the way into the cosmic universe with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and he’s proven himself a deft screenwriter who can play by the Marvel rules while bringing something new and unexpected to the table.

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