This year’s break-out hit for Marvel was their risky cosmic adventure, Guardians Of The Galaxy. Rising from the lesser-known realm of the studio’s back catalogue, the misfit bunch saved the day from tyrannical thug, Thanos, and brought in a sizeable chunk at the box office. In a somewhat rare move, a sequel was greenlit the day before the movie hit theaters. Marvel’s confidence in James Gunn’s first flick for the studio meant they knew they had a hit before audiences could even prove it. And, since the announcement for Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, all things Phase 3 have taken off.
After Marvel’s Internet-breaking Phase 3 rollout, many have been led to believe that the Guardians’ second outing will be more of a set-up for later movies. In particular, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1. The opening chapter in the two-part superhero mega event lands in theaters in May 2018, which is exactly one year after Guardians 2. Yes, there’s Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther in between them, but they don’t share a common element.
The blue-skinned baddie, Thanos, was the Guardians’ adversary in this summer’s movie, and made his MCU debut during the post-credits scene for The Avengers. So, many have taken this to infer that Guardians 2 could amble into multiplexes as a primer for the events of Infinity War.
While Gunn hasn’t ruled out a partial crossover between the two gangs in the past, he has now come out and firmly stated that his Guardians sequel is exactly that. A sequel. Appearing on The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith (via /Film), he cleared up the matter:
The last thing I said was something about how the Guardians, we really are mostly focused on creating the Guardians as their own separate universe, creating the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. It isn’t all about leading towards Avengers. We’re not subservient to The Avengers. Whether or not at some point, some Guardians and some Avengers meet up and meet somewhere in the world, whether it’s two years from now, three years from now, four years from now, fifteen years from now…I’m not going to say. But Guardians of the Galaxy does not exist as a prequel to Avengers 3 and 4. They have their own thing that they’re involved in. They have their own mythos that they’re involved in. They have their own stories that are equally important.
Again, the concept of the two teams appearing side-by-side on screen hasn’t been ruled out. His comments here lean towards a smaller group – say one or two from each crew – joining up further down the line. One thing’s absolutely certain though, and that’s that the Guardians aren’t the opening act for the headliner.
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 opens in theaters on May 5th, 2017.