The state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe might be totally up in the air after Thanos snapped his fingers in “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the Guardians of the Galaxy will return — in some form. And now their return has a script.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” writer James Gunn took to social media to announce the fact that he’d finished the screenplay, posting a photo of the title page. As a caption, he wrote “Every bit of my heart.”
Every bit of my heart. pic.twitter.com/hSxnbLpdn6
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 25, 2018
The sentimental message is very likely a hint that the next “Guardians” will have its share of emotional, heart-wrenching moments, like the last two movies. The most recent of those emotional impacts happened in “Avengers: Infinity War,” which Gunn made all the more gut-punching by explaining on Twitter what Groot said to Rocket at the end of the movie.
Gunn also posted the same shot on Instagram, where he gave a little more context. When one fan wrote, “Finished already?” Gunn replied, “Already? I’VE BEEN WRITING FOR OVER A YEAR.”
Of course, we’ve known for a long time that there would be another “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but we don’t know too much else about it. Back around the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” there was some discussion that the next movie could include the character Adam Warlock, a powerful superhero who, in the comics, is part of the “Infinity Gauntlet” storyline that was adapted into “Infinity War.” The post-credits scene in “Guardians 2” teased Warlock’s arrival, but he hasn’t shown up yet. Gunn has said publicly the earliest the character might appear in the MCU is “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3,” so we’re not expecting Warlock’s presence in “Avengers 4,” either.
(Warning: We’re about to discuss “Avengers: Infinity War” spoilers!)
And speaking of “Infinity War,” the state of the universe is pretty dire following the end of that movie. When Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped his fingers and wiped out half of all life in the universe we also lost most of the current Guardians membership. That included Groot (Vin Diesel), Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt). And Gamora (Zoe Saldana) had already been killed by Thanos earlier in the movie. Really, the only Guardian left is Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), along with the Guardians’ frenemy Nebula (Karen Gillan)
Everyone has speculated that Thanos’ work will be undone somehow in “Avengers 4,” since other characters who have future movies — Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), to name a few — were also among the disappeared. We have a pretty good idea that the Guardians will survive “Avengers 4” to return in “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.” We also know for sure, per a Collider interview with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, that “Guardians 3” is set after “Avengers 4.”
But Gunn has also said that Guardians 3 marks an end of sorts for the Guardians as we know it, tweeting last week that the film “will end this iteration of the Guardians and complete the story of the three films.” In the comics, lots of heroes have been part of the Guardians of the Galaxy at one point or another, so we’ll likely see a new lineup going forward, but who might be in the next squad is anybody’s guess.
One potential clue, though, is a just-announced new Marvel comic series, “Asgardians of the Galaxy,” which debuts in September. That team will include characters like Skurge (played by Karl Urban in “Thor: Ragnarok”) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson in “Thor: Ragnarok”). Skurge seemingly died in “Ragnarok” and Valkyrie was absent from “Infinity War,” but we saw her neither evaporate nor die at the hands of Thanos — so it seems very likely she’s still alive and out there somewhere. “Infinity War” also goes a long way to establish a relationship between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Guardians, especially Rocket, the only surviving member.
So an “Asgardians of the Galaxy” series combining some of the current Guardians and characters such as Valkyrie and even Thor seems like it could be a possibility. We’ll be waiting a long while to find out, in any case: “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’s currently expected to drop in 2020.