guardians of the galaxy vol 3

There’s no question that Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 will rock the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, but it won’t be until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits our theaters sometime in 2020 that the MCU will be forever changed.

Director James Gunn has hinted that the third film in his Guardians of the Galaxy series will kick off the cosmic universe in the MCU, expanding the films that follow will go beyond just battling aliens on Earth. But this won’t just be a short stint on the other side of the galaxy — the cosmic universe may take up the next 10 to 20 years of the MCU. That’s the equivalent of all first three “Phases” of the MCU!

In a Facebook Live (via Collider) session, Gunn responded to a question about the possibility of Nova film starring Richard Rider, a human member of the Nova Corps, the group that we were first introduced to in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn hinted that Nova may appear not only in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 but in separate cosmic films following the film.

“Yes, definitely. Nova comes up occasionally as someone we might use. One of the things I’m doing with creating Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it will take place after the next two Avengers movies and it will help to set up the next 10, 20 years of Marvel movies. It’s going to really expand the cosmic universe. We’re going to be setting up new characters. It will be the last movie of this version of Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Could Gunn be hinting that Nova will join the Guardians of the Galaxy, which may take after its Earth counterpart (the Avengers) and start a revolving membership? Possibly.

But the big news here is that the comic universe could encompass 10 or 20 years of the MCU — a wide gap, and an even wider range when you consider that Phase 1 of the MCU lasted from 2008 to 2012. The following phases were even shorter, with Phase 2 taking place between 2013 to 2015, and Phase 3 from 2016 to 2019 with Avengers 4.

Now Gunn may be spitballing about the time that the cosmic universe will take over the MCU, though he has hinted before that the cosmic universe will take over the next 10 years of the MCU after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But 10 — not to mention 20 — years is a long time to spend in space. The power of the MCU heroes is their relatability and complexity, which may be hard to depict if every film is a trippy space opera. But then again, Gunn did assure that the cosmic films will be nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy films and will follow their own template.

Of course, even in deep space, there are huge humanizing moments or quirks — like Peter Quill’s famous Awesome Mix that provided the emotional core and throbbing soundtrack to the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films. While his mom Meredith’s collection has run out, there will still be plenty of songs in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 from his surrogate dad: Yondu. Gunn in Facebook Live hinted at the kind of songs that Yondu would compile for Peter:

Volume 1 and Volume 2 have been Meredith’s song choices, her communication to Peter. In Volume 3, the song choices will be Yondu communicating to Peter.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently out on Blu-ray and DVD.

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