James Gunn May Break His Own MCU Canon In 'Guardians Of The Galaxy 3'

Even though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 just hit theaters over a month ago, James Gunn is already hard at work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Just recently, the director's brother Sean Gunn said that development isn't moving as quickly as it otherwise would since part of what happens in the sequel depends on what the Guardians deal with in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.

But there is one thing that James Gunn is already considering and it would require him to break part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon he established in the first movie. Get the lowdown on this Guardians of the Galaxy 3 development below.

James Gunn talked about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 while appearing on the E3 World Building Panel (via CinemaBlend) and he revealed that he's struggling with a decision to potentially retcon something he subtly established as canon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

"I'm writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and I finished the first draft of the treatment yesterday. I'm excited about it. I feel really great about it. But there's one little thing that I had in the first movie. Now, Marvel Canon – MCU – is crazy. There's the 616 universe which is the Marvel Comics Universe, which people get hung up on that canon, and then there's the MCU, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has a separate canon (inspired by but not exactly the same as the 616.) I did something in the first movie of Guardians where it was in the background but it was distinctly there, and people know that it's there. And I'm like goddammit. Because I have a really good storytelling reason for breaking the canon, and I stayed up last night figuring out if I'm gonna do it or not. I still don't know."

Thankfully, unlike the yet-to-be-uncovered Easter egg that James Gunn won't tell us about, the director got a little more specific about the canonical detail that he's thinking about backtracking:

"I'll actually tell ya. In the first movie there is the mugshot sequence where the characters go through and they're going through the mugshots and having their picture taken. And the Nova Corps has information about each of the characters coming up on their machinery. Those things are something that your average viewer doesn't see at all. But there's a lot of background I put into those things about who they've worked with, where they are from, what's going on. And it's one of those things that I'm thinking about changing."

So let's go back to the first movie, to that mugshot sequence, and take a closer look. There's a detail within the information presented in the holographic interface at Nova Corps that James Gunn is thinking about redacting for the sake of the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 story. Let's see if we can figure out what it is.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Gamora


The daughter of Thanos is the first character we see getting the mugshot treatment. Most her information is just statistics about her weight, height and number of arms and legs. There's also information about what kind of cybernetic enhancements she's received over the years thanks to her adopted father. The one detail that seems to be ripe for retconning is that Gamora is the last of the Zehoberei people.

The Zehoberei are a humanoid race of people with green skin that is much more resistant to physical harm, a slightly different facial bone structure, and a second liver, which allows them to get a little more drunk than other beings. As the info in the hologram indicates, she's supposed to be the only survivor after Thanos killed all her people and turned her into his personal assassin.

However, interestingly enough, in the comics, Gamora's race (known as the Zen-Whoberi) is wiped out by Adam Warlock, the character who was teased as a creation of the Sovereign's high priestess (Elizabeth Debicki) in one of the credits scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Maybe Vol. 3 will reveal that not all the Zehoberei are dead and Gamora has to stop Adam Warlock from killing them.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Raccoon

Known as Subject 89P13, Rocket Raccoon is said to be from Halfworld, which could be a detail that might be worth changing in the MCU canon. The planet was created by a group of alien humanoids who wanted to use it as a medical complex to treat the insane, but they abandoned it and created a staff of robots to take care of the humanoids. But that planet was then handed down from the robots to some animals they genetically engineered to become sentient companions for the patients. While the animals thrived and took care of the planet, the robots turned half of the planet into a humanoid spacecraft called Ship, thus giving the planet the name of Halfworld.

There's a chance that Rocket's origins could be removed from Halfworld since we only know that he was experimented on in a lab, but we have no idea where. However, there's another detail that might be more ripe for changing, and that's one of Rocket's listed associates.

In addition to Groot, the name Lylla is listed. Lylla is a sentient otter who is said to be Rocket's soulmate in the comics. She just happens to be the heiress the toymaking empire, Mayhem Mekaniks, on the planet Halfworld. Under the control of a sentient mole named Judson Jakes, the company was known for creating robots, weapons, Killer Clowns and other deadly stuff that Rocket Raccoon and his uncle Wal Rus used to battle until Lylla took over the business. Perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will see Rocket encountering Lylla, who may need his help to taking over the business from Judson Jakes, and Gunn needs him to meet Lylla for the first time instead of already being an associate familiar with her as indicated in his profile.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Groot


When it comes to Groot, there's not really anything in his profile that jumps out as something that would need to be changed for the sake of the story in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Most of the information is just stats and details on his biology. Though there is one interesting name in his list of associates. In addition to Rocket's subject number, there's the name Tibius Lark.

What's weird about that is there is no Tibius Lark in the Marvel Comics universe. There's a chance it has something to do with the character Lady Lark, but that seems like a stretch. Either way, that doesn't sound like something James Gunn would have to change.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Star-Lord


Star-Lord's profile also doesn't contain much that would appear to create a problem for James Gunn, though there is one piece of information that could be retconned. It appears Star-Lord had an encounter with a Gramosian duchess where he illegally manipulated her to do...something. Knowing Star-Lord, it could have been anything that he needed to get ahold of an item or get information on something to steal. The only way that would be an issue is if Gunn had a story point that required him to encounter Gramosians for the first time, but that doesn't seem like too difficult of a fix.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Drax the Destroyer

Drax the Destroyer

As for Drax the Destroyer, we don't really need to worry about his mugshot, because it didn't happen in the movie. The shot above that features all his stats and details is from the teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, so anything in it isn't technically canon in the MCU. Even if it were, as we said, the information there isn't anything like what Gunn was talking about aove.


As James Gunn said, these kinds of details are things that 99% of the audience going to see Marvel Studios movies won't notice. Therefore, making a change that would break the canon he already created wouldn't be that big of a deal. He might get some blowback from insane Marvel fans, as well as be a little upset with himself, but it shouldn't be anything Earth-shattering.

Anyone else have any ideas on what James Gunn could be retconning from Guardians of the Galaxy?