Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead. Infinity War didn't pan out well for the Guardians of the Galaxy, overall. Gamora was sacrificed by her adoptive father Thanos for the Soul Stone, and Peter, Mantis, Drax, and Groot all disintegrated into dust upon the Mad Titan's snap. Rocket and Nebula were all that was left. But Endgame reversed the snap and brought back everyone — there's even a 2014 version of Gamora who may still be out there in the present. When Guardians of the Galaxy 3 premieres, Thor may even be an official part of the team.
The first two Guardians movies were huge hits, so a third seemed inevitable. But there have been delays, as the film was put on hold indefinitely due to the firing of writer-director James Gunn over some offensive tweets from his past. He was never replaced. And last month, Gunn was officially rehired, which means that GOTG 3 is in the works again.
Initially, the film was expected to be released in 2020. (GOTG 2 came out in 2017.) But now, we're probably looking at 2022 at the earliest. This is, at least, what IMDb has listed on their database as of March 15. Marvel hasn't confirmed this date anywhere. And Gunn is currently directing the sequel to Suicide Squad, which isn't set to come out until Aug. 6, 2021.
In terms of the plot and the returning cast, not much has been revealed either. Back in 2018, Chris Pratt teased in an MTV interview that if the next movie were a prequel, then Gamora would most definitely be there. However, Endgame offered another possibility, which is that the Gamora from the past will link up with the Guardians. Would she be the same person, however? She definitely didn't know Peter when she saw him on the battlefield, though there's a chance he could win her over again.
In an interview with Variety back in 2017, Gunn hinted that the film will not, in fact, pre-date Infinity War. "I think the third movie is going to continue this trilogy the story of this iteration of this Guardians of the Galaxy," he said. "I think we're going to come to an epic conclusion of who the Guardians are why and why they were bought together and I can't wait to tell that story to the people."
"I will be helping to plant the seeds that will lead to the next decade," he also told the Toronto Sun in a 2017 interview. "I'm helping to decide what projects we'll be pursuing outside of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3… and what the next cosmic characters we will focus on." Whether that's true or not after his hiatus from this project is yet to be made clear.
It seems like we're also going to be bidding our Fave Five — well, six now including Mantis, or seven including Nebula (or eight including Thor?) — goodbye soon. As much as we'd love to see the Guardians of the Galaxy back on their grind again (and as much as we want another awesome mixtape), we have at least a few years to get amped up about the sequel.