Guardians of the Galaxy 3 release date

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is building up to something big with the climactic Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, and it’s up to the films following it to pick up the pieces. One of those films is James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy 3 which, in addition to being a sequel to two of the most beloved Marvel movies, is reportedly supposed to launch a new cosmic phase of the MCU.

However, the MCU has so many moving pieces that it’s hard to predict what movies will be released when after the next two Avengers films. But Gunn has a hint for fans concerning when Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will hit theaters.

Gunn is incredibly active on social media, posting little ramblings as well as promotions for his films — the latest being a post announcing the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Blu-ray in the U.K. But comments under the post inevitably veered toward Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and in response to a fan’s question about a release date, Gunn responded simply:

“In a little under three years.”

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit for Marvel, who released the film in late summer 2014. The second film arrived in May of this year. In comparison, only two years lapsed between each Captain America film. So if Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was a guaranteed success and already led the way for a third film, why another three-year wait?

Gunn explained that in another comment:

“Right now I’m doing Guardians 3, producing a new film with David Yarovesky, and developing Starchy & Hutch for Amazon.com. My plate is full for three years.”

The guy’s a busy dude. Often when a director hits it big with Marvel, Marvel films become their number one priority, like the Russo brothers, who went on to helm Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Avengers films after the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But it’s good that Gunn has other projects going, even if it keeps Guardians of the Galaxy 3 a little further away for us.

However, a 2020 or 2021 release date for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 does match with the possible MCU Phase 4 calendar that we drew up last month. Marvel’s slate through 2019 is packed with Thor: RagnarokBlack PantherInfinity War, Ant-Man and the WaspAvengers 4, and the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, so 2020 is the best possible option for Guardians of the Galaxy 3. The slate post-2020 is curiously unscheduled, leaving us to speculate over when the Marvel Phase 4 movies will be released — not to mention what those Phase 4 movies will be. It’s an exciting period of uncertainty, as Marvel has always meticulously planned and announced its future films, and allows us to imagine that the MCU could go anywhere in space — or time.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently available on digital and Blu-ray.

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