Next month’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might be the final movie in the trilogy written and directed by James Gunn — but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily going to be the final Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
In its extensive profile of James Gunn’s past few years, The Hollywood Reporter drops an interesting tidbit of information about the new movie: “The Guardians will undoubtedly continue as a property after Gunn completes the transition to DC, and the new film hints at a future, albeit with a different lineup of Guardians.”
This shouldn’t come as a complete surprise; Marvel Studios has already announced two new Avengers movies despite the departure of the majority of the original team, and the comic book Guardians have gone through multiple line-up changes across the years — but it nonetheless raises questions about whether or not Vol. 3 is the final Guardians movie, as it’s being marketed as, or simply the last one that we know about right now.
Gunn is, according to THR, “enthusiastic” about the idea of future Guardians projects, but others seem less so; “I can’t imagine playing Mantis with someone else writing the words,” Pom Klementieff is quoted as saying. Both Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista have said that they’re officially finished with the MCU after this movie, with the former telling THR, “I don’t think this is the end for the Guardians. It is the end for me, for Gamora.”
It’s perhaps worth noting that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 introduces Adam Warlock to the MCU — a character who has, in comic book form at least, been involved with the team in tangental ways in the past. Could Vol. 3 end with a new generation of Guardians, with an all-new hero at the forefront? We’ll find out in a little over a week. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens May 5.