One of the most popular franchises within the Marvel Cinematic Universe has long been Guardians of the Galaxy. Helmed by James Gunn, these operatic space adventures have been box office hits (totalling over $1.6billion worldwide) and fan favourites (an average of 89.5% on RottenTomatoes). Now however, the director is suggesting that this ragtag group’s third outing will be their last.
Speaking on Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast, Gunn stated:
“This is the end for us, the last time people will see this team of Guardians.”
While this doesn’t rule out future Guardians film, it does heavily imply that the team audiences are familiar with will likely come to an end.
“I want to give people the wrap up that they deserve for this story,” Gunn added, having directed and written the first two instalments in 2014 and 2017.
No story elements are currently known, but Gunn assures that the film will be a grand finale.
“It’s big; it’s so, so big and dark, and different from what people might be expecting it to be.”
The story will likely see the team deal with the consequences of Avengers: Endgame, which resurrected original member Gamora. Will Poulter (Midsommar; The Revenant) joins the cast as Adam Warlock, an artificial being created to destroy the Guardians.
Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049), who stars as Drax the Destroyer, has also opened up about the third film being the finale. Speaking to Marvel-centric podcast, Phase Zero, he says: “It’s our third film, we’re gonna wrap it up. And it’s been a hell of a journey with a few bumps. So, I’m looking forward to this, man. My cast and obviously the director, James Gunn, they’re like family to me.”
The Guardians films brought a lot of attention to Bautista from non-wrestling fans, and Drax allowed him to explore his comedic side as an actor. He adds, “This is kind of where my journey started. It’s come full circle and I’m looking forward to wrapping it up. And it’s bittersweet. I mean, I’ve been doing Guardians since 2013. When this comes out, it’ll be in 2023, so that’s a 10-year journey. All things must end. “I’m looking forward to kind of wrapping this up with my friends and family.”
Meanwhile in 2021 James Gunn directed The Suicide Squad for rival studio Warner Bros., based on characters from the DC universe. A spinoff series, following John Cena‘s character Peacemaker has recently began airing on HBO Max, created by Gunn. Warner Bros. executive Walter Hamada has confirmed that Gunn will return to DC for future projects.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is schedule to release on 5th May 2023, but fans can see the beloved team even earlier with this year’s ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’, set to debut on Disney+ in December.