Spoilers ahead for Infinity War. After the mind-boggling ending of Avengers: Infinity War it's hard to imagine how the MCU will recover from Thanos' triumph. Since Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) got vaporized with the Avengers and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) died, what will happen to Guardians of the Galaxy 3? Seeing that a third installment to the Marvel series is scheduled to come out in 2020, according to director/writer James Gunn, you can at least rest assured that the Guardians aren't gone forever. And while it's unclear whether or not Gamora will return, you can probably bet that at least Star Lord will come back.
The clues are all in the timeline of Marvel's upcoming movies. Before the 2020 Guardians movie, comes out, the Marvel Studios will release Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019 and then the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, Time reports. That means that way before a third Guardians comes out, you'll find out what happened during Thanos' promised return. As you know from the end credits of Infinity War, Nick Fury signaled Captain Marvel (who Brie Larsen will play) right before he disappeared at the dramatic end of the movie. She will probably be the Avengers and the Guardians' only hope for defeating Thanos and getting all of those major superheroes who disappeared back. Hopefully that will happen ASAP, because it's hard to imagine a Guardians film without Peter Quill.
Even though the confirmation of a third Guardians movie offers great hope for Peter's return, it doesn't exactly mean that you will have an endless number of Guardians films to look forward to in the future. At the premiere of Guardians 2, Gunn told Variety that he sees the series as a trilogy, which would mean the 2020 installment could be the last. That's definitely not something warranting a happy Groot dance.
Before you officially give up on the MCU for discontinuing your favorite series, you need to actually know what Gunn said word-for-word. The writer and director told Variety, "I think that the third movie is going to continue this trilogy, the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy." The key word there is "iteration," and it means that while the trilogy might end in 2020, the intergalactic superhero team might return in some other story.
Gunn also promised Variety that Guardians 3 will be worth the long wait. "It’s going to do it in a big way, and we’re going to come to an epic conclusion of who the Guardians are and why they were brought together, and I can’t wait to tell that story to the people," he said. Now you can cue the Groot dance, because Gunn's description of the third Guardians movie makes it sound so good that you'll forget it could be the last.
By 2020, the MCU's Phase 4 will be well under way, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has often called the fourth Avengers movie a "culmination event" that will initiate a pivotal shift in all movies to come, as Collider reports. It's largely unknown what the difference between Phase 4 and Phase 3, which ends after Avengers 4, will be. In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Gunn spoke about his role in the MCU and the future with the Guardians, saying "I will be helping to plant the seeds that will lead to the next decade [of Marvel movies]," so you can bet that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be different from the first two of the trilogy, and it might introduce you to new characters. Though, that probably won't include Adam Warlock because Gunn tweeted, "Who knows how long it will take him to bake in that cocoon. That said, I love Adam. But the time must be right."
Even though so much of the Guardians' future seems uncertain, everything that Gunn has said about the future of MCU and Volume 3 should reassure you that the series is in good hands, and the next movie will be epic.