James Gunn (far right, above) will become one Marvel Studios' very few three-timers with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the writer/director announced in a lengthy Facebook post on Monday. Before we get into the 46-year-old Slither helmer/The Belko Experiment scribe's promising motivations, check out the info about where Guardians 3 will sit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
"Much of what’s happened in the MCU for the past ten or so years has been leading, in a big way, to the Avengers’ Infinity War. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will happen after all that. It will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond. I will be working side-by-side with Kevin Feige and the gang to help design where these stories go, and make sure the future of the Marvel Cosmic Universe is as special and authentic and magical as what we have created so far."
The Guardians have been confirmed to appear alongside the Avengers next year.
So far, Marvel has only had two-time directors in Jon Favreau (first two Iron Mans) and Joss Whedon (both Avengers). Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo will debut their third flick with the entertainment juggernaut, Avengers: Infinity War, in 2018, then a follow-up one year later. (So far they've done the last two Captain America movies; 2016's Civil War is the studio's No. 4 all-time box office earner.) Peyton Reed will become a two-timer with '18's Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Here's part of why Gunn decided to come back for the Guardians of the Galaxy threequel:
"There is a history in Hollywood of haphazard endings to trilogies, and I didn’t want to become a part of that dishonorable tradition of pretending the third one doesn’t exist. ... So, after many months of ruminations and discussions, I know the answer. I could save this answer for the first, random interviewer to ask me during the press junket but instead I thought I’d share it with the most important people in the Guardiansverse—you, the fans, who have been so incredibly supportive and enthusiastic over the past five years, it has moved me to tears on a regular basis.
So, yes, I’m returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In the end, my love for Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Star-Lord, Yondu, Mantis, Drax, and Nebula – and some of the other forthcoming heroes – goes deeper than you guys can possibly imagine, and I feel they have more adventures to go on and things to learn about themselves and the wonderful and sometimes terrifying universe we all inhabit. And, like in both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, we will work on creating the story that goes beyond what you expect."
Gunn also said his relationship with Marvel "has been the best of my professional career, and is a huge contributing factor to my decision." In October he tweeted that a spinoff starring Karen Gillan's Nebula has been "something I've thought about from the beginning." A Rocket/Groot movie has also been batted about.
For more, watch a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer, or the brand new Thor: Ragnarok one or even our detailed Complete Guide to Deadpool 2. You can also catch Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso telling Fuse how the publishing empire is syncing up with its movie and TV offerings in 2017: