James Gunn Returns to Write and Direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3’

The filmmaker made the announcement on Facebook

James Gunn will return to write and direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3’ for Marvel Studios, The Wrap has learned.

The filmmaker made the announcement on Facebook.

“I could save this answer for the first, random interviewer to ask me during the press junket but instead I thought I’d share it with the most important people in the Guardiansverse – you, the fans, who have been so incredibly supportive and enthusiastic over the past five years, it has moved me to tears on a regular basis,” Gunn wrote. “So, yes, I’m returning to write and direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.’ In the end, my love for Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Star-Lord, Yondu, Mantis, Drax, and Nebula – and some of the other forthcoming heroes – goes deeper than you guys can possibly imagine, and I feel they have more adventures to go on and things to learn about themselves and the wonderful and sometimes terrifying universe we all inhabit. And, like in both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, we will work on creating the story that goes beyond what you expect.”

Gunn goes on to say that the third “Guardians” will set up the next ten years of storytelling for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“It will conclude the story of this iteration of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond,” wrote Gunn. “I will be working side-by-side with Kevin Feige and the gang to help design where these stories go, and make sure the future of the Marvel Cosmic Universe is as special and authentic and magical as what we have created so far.”

The first “Guardians” film grossed over $770 million at the box office, with more than $330 million of that coming from the U.S.

Three weeks away from the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” trackers have submitted huge projections for the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The sequel is expected to make at least $150 million in its opening weekend, which would put it in the top 5 highest openings for Marvel Studios. In audience surveys, it has a first choice score of 28 percent and a definite interest score of 63 percent.

In the hands of director James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy have gone from obscure characters in Marvel’s line of comic book heroes to icons on the same level as Iron Man and Captain America. The first “Guardians” film, released in August 2014, made $94 million in its opening weekend, then an all-time record for the month of August until it was broken by “Suicide Squad” two years later. “Vol. 2” was announced before the first Guardians was even released and had its release date moved from July 28 to May 5 after the first film grossed $773 million worldwide.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” will see Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), continue his adventures with his fellow Guardians two months after they bonded as a team by rescuing the galaxy from Ronan. But now that the excitement of their victory has faded away, the Guardians are having a hard time keeping their newfound family together as Gamora crosses paths again with her step-sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is forced to adjust to being the protector of Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), and Quill is forced to once again confront his past when he meets his father, the living planet Ego (Kurt Russell).

Directed and written by Gunn and produced by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the film also sees Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker and Glenn Close return to the cast along with newcomers Pom Klementieff and Sylvester Stallone.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” will get its worldwide premiere in 25 markets — including France, Australia, Hong Kong, and the U.K. — starting April 25. It will be released domestically on May 5.