'Guardians Of The Galaxy 3' Will Be 'The End' For This Team

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hasn't even hit theaters yet, but director James Gunn is already looking ahead to the next volume in his space romp saga.

Gunn recently confirmed that he'll be returning to direct the third installment of his wildly popular superhero movie, and thus help shepherd in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the the next decade of the MCU may shake up the galaxy as we know it, with Gunn hinting that the current "iteration" of the Guardians team won't make it through the next film.

Gunn won't be taking much of a break after the flurry of activities that came with producting, directing and promoting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, telling Screen Rant that he will begin work on the third Guardians soon. But with that new chapter in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, Gunn will be shaking up the status quo, revealing that the current lineup of the beloved team will end.

Screen Rant: I know you stated that you'll be back for Guardians 3 obviously, and you said that's the end. Does that mean that's the end of the team past phase 4 or is it your end of the team?

James Gunn: It means it's the end of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Yeah.

The current Guardians team consists of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), with Mantis (series newcomer Pom Klementieff), Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) joining the team in the latest film.

It won't be the first time a cherished team dynamic has been broken up or disassembled for the sake of story. The Avengers saw their lineup changed as quickly as the end of their second cinematic outing as a team in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thor and the Hulk left the team to deal with their own adventures, while Black Widow, Falcon and War Machine were added to the roster — all three later playing a big part in Captain America: Civil War. Civil War, of course, was most famous for breaking up the team in a dramatic and tragic fashion, sending Team Captain America into hiding as outlaws while Team Iron Man continued on in a diminished, broken Avengers team.

Indeed, Marvel Comics are famous for rotating their team line-ups every few years, or even every few issues.

We don't know yet whether Gunn will opt for a friendly roster rotation like the one we saw at the end of Age of Ultron, or whether it will be an upsetting team break-up like Civil War. Considering some of the tension we saw in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer — Nebula accuses the bickering team of strife, saying, "You're not friends" — the more dramatic option is a possibility.

The Guardians of the Galaxy team will also be joining the fray in Avengers: Infinity War, which is sure to have universe-wide repercussions. So it's to be seen what their dynamic and rapport will be like after that sure-to-be-traumatic event.

Gunn told ScreenRant that he'll be working on Guardians of the Galaxy 3 soon, and will be taking into account the events of Infinity War.

"I have a little work to do on Infinity War, but I'll be going straight into it. For a while, it becomes more like a regular job, which is really good. You know, for the past year or so, or more, it's been seven days a week, all the time working on this movie, and so for a little while I'll be able to have some downtime, and do a couple trips and see, you know, see the world a little bit, but also work."

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5, 2017.