Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the end of a passion project that has occupied a decade and change of director James Gunn‘s career. Marvel Studios brought Gunn on board in 2012 and tasked him with making a tentpole film around a group of comic book characters most people had never heard of that included a talking raccoon and a tree. What followed was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon as Guardians of the Galaxy took the world by storm in 2014. The characters quickly worked their way into the hearts of the audience and through subsequent appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, went from unknowns to major players in the MCU’s Infinity Saga.
And while the Infinity Saga marked the end for many of Marvel Studios major heroes, the Guardians kept on keeping on into the Multiverse Saga where they’ve seen action in Thor: Love and Thunder and their own Holiday Special ahead of their latest adventure set to be told in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. With Gunn moving on to shepherd the new era of DC Comics projects at Warner Bros. Discovery, his time with the team has come to an end, even if some or all of them may find their way into new stories. During the global press junket for the film, host Nathan Fillion asked Gunn if he’d miss the characters he’s created as his time working with Marvel Studios comes to an end.
“I’m gonna miss the characters,” said Gunn. “That’s the saddest part for me, is I really, truly love these characters. I love all of them. I think there’s certain ones that I have a special fondness for, especially Rocket.” Gun continued, “And yeah, the saddest part of all of this. I’m gonna see all these people again. They’re all friends of mine. But I’m not gonna see the characters. I’m not gonna be writing the characters again, at least not in the near future. And so, that’s a real sadness, yeah.“
Interestingly enough, Gunn left the door slightly open for his return to the MCU at some point down the road; however, given how busy he is with Superman: Legacy and the rest of the all-new, all-different DCU, it’s hard to imagine him carving out time to return to the Guardians no matter how much he loves them.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens across America on May 5th.