Yesterday, James Gunn broke the news that he’d be returning to write and direct a third film in the mega-popular Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. This was followed earlier today by the first Twitter reactions to the soon-to-be-released Vol. 2, which received (almost) universal acclaim from critics. As it turns out, that’s a very good thing for Marvel because it sounds like Gunn and his series of space-set adventures are going to play a huge part in shaping the MCU going forward.
Phase 3 comes to an end with next year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which will feature Gunn’s team of intergalactic A-holes and presumably set a course for a more cosmically-based Phase 4. From the sounds of it, it seems like Gunn is going to be quite involved with shaping the future of the MCU beyond his own movies, as Marvel head honcho, Kevin Feige, had this to say about Vol. 3 during an interview with THR:
I think James in particular has an amazing connection with these characters and with this cosmic world. So he, I think, could easily oversee additional stories beyond Vol. 3. And I think has them and just continues to come up with them, which is cool. All of our core writers and filmmakers know what we are doing in other places and help give input on the various projects.
These comments back up Gunn’s claim that just as the first 10 years of Marvel movies built to 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, the third Guardians film will help set up the next 10 years of films. Of course, aside from Vol. 3 and a fourth Avengers installment, we don’t actually know what to expect from Phase 4, but if events do indeed move beyond the earth-based heroics of the Avengers, we could well see big screen solo outings for the likes of Adam Warlock, Nova and maybe even the Silver Surfer – if Marvel ever manages to get the rights to the character back, that is.