James Gunn being fired and then re-hired was a very strange and unpredictable chain of events. But now that the dust has settled, we can start looking forward to Gunn’s next installment in the MCU: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. With all the behind-the-scenes controversy, its status has been unclear in the upcoming Phase 4 slate but, courtesy of a report from THR, we now have an idea of when it’ll be before the cameras.
According to their sources, Black Widow and The Eternals will be shot this year, with Shang-Chi following on soon after The Eternals wraps. After all that, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will film in 2020, targeting a summer/fall 2021 release date. That’s going to leave James Gunn with a pretty busy couple of years, as he’s set to direct The Suicide Squad this fall (which itself is targeting an August 6th, 2021 release). As such, it seems inevitable that he’s going to be working on both films simultaneously. While I’m sure he can pull that off, it’s going to be a very unique situation working on a Marvel movie one week and a DC one the next.
Then there’s the question of what Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be about. Those who’ve seen Avengers: Endgame (which judging by the box office is almost literally everyone) will know that Thor joins the crew, dubbing the new line-up the Asgardians of the Galaxy.
My theory on this is that this setup was a plan to allow Taika Waititi to make a Thor 4 that incorporated the Guardians, thus neatly absolving Marvel Studios of having to find a replacement for Gunn. But now that’s he’s officially back (and presumably knows what kind of story he wants to tell), that concept may be jettisoned. I hope it isn’t though, because Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth clearly have great comedic chemistry and it’d be awesome to see them together in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter