Guardians of the Galaxy 3: Release Date, Cast, Plot – What We Know About the Marvel Sequel

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is one of Marvel’s most anticipated sequels. Here, we try and answer the burning questions we all have about the upcoming James Gunn directed entry in the franchise.

    Who is directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    RELATED: James Gunn Hints at Killing Off Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Characters Suicide Squad-Style

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, another space adventure, is being directed by James Gunn. The next entry in the series was a little delayed because some naughty tweets resurfaced from Gunn himself which lead to his firing… and eventual rehiring (one of the reasons that the third installment was delayed in filming, besides that whole pandemic thing). But he finally got the ball rolling and is back in the driver’s seat. With Gunn directing &Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2&&, it only seems right to have him return to direct the third installment of the space dwellers’ adventures. &Gunn has made it clear, though, that he has no interest in filming a fourth installment. For those that can’t wait, here are a few things we know so far about the next chapter, Guardians of the Galaxy 3}.

    Another reason for the long delay until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters stems from director James Gunn also directing The Suicide Squad reboot, from Marvel competitor DC, a project he signed on to while on hiatus from the Guardians franchise.

    Is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Dave Bautista’s finale?

    Dave Bautista's Last Stand

    Dave Bautista has stated that &Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3&is likely to be Drax’s final adventure played by Bautista. He stated in an interview recently that he is getting a little older now and is ready to hand the mantle down to the next person. Hopefully, when I’m Bautista’s age, I will be throwing down some moves the way he is. Make sure to check Bautista heading into the quarantine zone trying to pull of the “deadliest” money heist in Las Vegas surrounded by the undead in &Army of the Dead& coming to Netflix this May.

    What is Rocket’s Story Arc in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

    Rocket Racoon

    Rocket Raccoon should be getting a good amount of screen time the third time around as we will hopefully be seeing the origin story of how he became the trash panda (thank you, Thor!) we know and love today. Would we potentially see the start of the romance with the sapient otter Lady Lylla? There has been some speculation that Lylla might be voiced by Lady Gaga, who has already shown her on-screen chemistry with Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born. We’ve also got a good source of information that Rocket will be on the search for his creator, who is speculated to be THE HIGH EVOLUTIONARY but is yet unclear as to what his intentions will be in that regard.

    Combined with previous teases that there may be a major character death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and a shakeup of the team, could Rocket be the ultimate victim? Might he emerge as the leader of the Guardians? Fans will have to wait to find out.

    What will we learn about the Asgardians of the Galaxy in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?


    We’re definitely counting on Thor to appear in the 3rd chapter. As we saw at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor was headed into outer-space with Star Lord and the others, calling the group the Asgardians of the Galaxy. We can only imagine what struggles Quill will have trying to be the top-dog of the Guardians, because the team had quickly taken a shining to Thor. We have already seen various behind-the-scenes photos of the Guardians in the latest Thor: Love and Thunder news that has tipped that we’ll see Jane take the mantle of Lady Thor.

    Will Gamora be back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

    Zoe Saldona as Gamora

    There are strong indications that the Vol. 3 story will center on the search for Gamora, with Quill trying to find her on the computer system scanning life forms with no matches to the daughter of Thanos. Will Nebula’s newfound good streak help or hinder the search? This little nit, alone, could lead to a much larger story arc for the second daughter of Thanos. With the Multiverse now well underway, how will this affect time with Gamora from the past being set free in the present timeline? Will past-Gamora be trying to find a way back to her original timeline? Another question that fans would love to see answered is whether past-Gamora will finally know that her father, the Titan Eternal, actually threw her off the cliff to achieve his goals of obtaining the Soul Stone.

    When will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 be released?

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

    We’ve been told that the movie is set to be released on the May 5, 2023, so we still have a little while to go before Quill’s cassette player is back, along with the nostalgia of his favorite ’70’s music. There have been cryptic hints at what the future holds for the Guardians of the Galaxy over the last few years in terms of Gunn’s replies to interview questions and social media Q&A sessions. One thing seems certain: whatever version of the team continues on after Vol. 3 will be very different from the team that was introduced in the 2014 original. I feel just slightly heartbroken to think that any one of the team will not be continuing the adventures together. Based on the rumors circulating across the web, my bet is that the fluffy little raccoon will be the first character to take the next role as the leader of the Guardians.

    The Ravagers

    Sean Gunn as Kraglin

    Will the Ravagers finally get their true time to shine the third time around? With Kraglin set to return, this would seem to finally be his opportunity. But with Gunn looking out for his little brother, Sean Gunn, the possibilities are endless for what could happen in this character’s story arc.

    Will The Marvels show up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

    Adam Warlock and The Marvels

    Adam Warlock is also set to make an appearance, so could this be a great tie-in with THE MARVELS? Could there be more space adventure crossovers? With Warlock being teased in a post-credit scene from the second film, where we saw Queen Ayesha declare she had created the ultimate weapon to destroy the Guardians, I have a feeling this won’t go to well. In the comics he becomes a key member of the Guardians team. His same cocoon was spotted in the collector’s museum which was an accident as Gunn was just filling the hall out with props and he didn’t realize that fans would spot it and put the two together. With so many Easter eggs in almost every Marvel film and tv show, it’s hardly a surprise that this film wouldn’t be any different. Gunn loves seeing our imaginations go into overdrive at every turn and marvels at how much we fans actually spot and know about the history of these characters.

    He is one of the strongest Marvel characters, hosting a range of various powers. He’s a big deal in the ‘cosmic’ part of the Marvel Universe, where he’s both a good and bad guy. His dark side is called Magus, which gets dangerous if and when he gets ahold of the Soul Stone – one of the Infinity Stones that Thanos is after in Avengers: Infinity War

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 AND THE MCU

    Guardians of the Galaxy 3

    First, it was Groot, then Yondu. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could see another passing leaving us with a potentially new and different team heading into the next phase.

    Gunn said that, “Much of what’s happened in the MCU for the past 10 or so years has been leading, in a big way, to the Avengers: Infinity War.”

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will happen after all that. 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 10 years and beyond.”

    Earth’s Music

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Soundtrack

    Gunn recently shared that the soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is done, well ahead of shooting. Gunn’s got a certain flair for musical direction – bringing the perfect mix of nostalgia, emotion and cultural recall to the movies. While Gunn didn’t release the names of the songs on the soundtrack, it’s safe to assume that Vol. 3 will certainly bring more of the same vibe that the first two pics offered. So get those dancing shoes on and ready for the next set of blasts from the past.

    Emotions at the ready

    Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is a literal emotional rollercoaster. One moment we’re deep in gun slinging, and the next we’re smacked with droll humor (including Drax’s insistence that he’s still invisible?!). Remember, the first movie opened with Quill’s mother dying from cancer and the second pic plumbed the depths of Quill’s daddy issues. This new threequel seems to promise an entirely new type of hard tear-jerking – at least according to a recent James Gun tweet-tease. In his post, he admitted that he cried a lot while writing the script. No one knows exactly what the plot could be yet, but at least everyone has a heads up about needing to walk into the cinema with a roll of tissue paper under their jacket.


    Replacing real life with CGI

    I am Groot

    The last year has felt like total chaos, with all the social distancing guidelines, mask requirements and travel restrictions making it impossible to shoot movies. After all, if actors can’t stand together or engage in scenes without being fully masked, how can movies be made? There are delays everywhere and only recently have we started to see positive signs that we’re turning the corner. In the depths of the health crisis, though, Disney (and others) began working on ways to make movies in live-action…without live actors. With deepfakes and CGI characters permeating the interwebs, it would be no surprise to find that movies can (and will?) be made with only CGI ‘actors’ – could Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 be a test-bed?

    According to a proven scooper on WDWMagic Disney is testing out CGI technology similar to what has been used on movies like The Lion King to bring animals to life, only this time they’re using it on humans to phase out the need for live actors. Their first test will be on the Guardians’ “Cosmic Rewind” rollercoaster ride where the cast of Guardians will appear to be live-action but will actually be CGI characters.

    Should this experiment work out, they are also considering using it on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any live-action actors in the upcoming movie, but it could mean they’ll use them less. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has already been significantly delayed anyway (more on that in a minute) so that, plus the fact that they’d be testing it using it on a Guardians project, makes it the ideal place to test out the technology on a big screen scale.

    Specifically their scooper says,

    “The goal is to test the waters of creating computer-animated films indistinguishable from live-action, thus bypassing the need for actors (and the need for actors salaries).

    ” It remains to be seen whether studios could come up with some economic deal that would get actors to allow their likenesses to be used in a movie that they physically didn’t act in.

    When will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 be set?

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

    After Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame

    Responding to a fan’s question on Twitter, director James Gunn previously said: “Vol. 3 will take place after Avengers 3 & 4.” On Facebook, too, Gunn wrote:

    “Much of what’s happened in the MCU for the past 10 or so years has been leading, in a big way, to the Avengers’Infinity War. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will happen after all that.”

    To put this in a more date-accurate way, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is set four years before Avengers: Infinity War – so Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be set several years after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

    Who is the big bad?

    Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    We have always got to have a big bad, right?

    Fans of the series are betting the big bad in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is going to be Warlock, because Marvel boss Kevin Feige has already spoken about the character in relation to this film. “[Adam Warlock’s arrival] will not be until Guardians 3,” he told io9. “Adam is not a part of Infinity War, which of course he is in the comics, but James [Gunn] did always really like Adam Warlock, and our version of Infinity War is the culmination of all the stories we told up to this point. James has had ideas to introduce Adam.

    New movie tech

    Guardians of the Galaxy 3

    In 2020 The Mandalorian had some of the best mind-blowing scenery and CGI. One of the reasons why fans were so immersed with the aesthetic that the show provided was because that aesthetic was created with a new background stage technology, better known as Stagecraft.

    On Twitter, Gunn had a fan ask if the tech would be used on the third instalment and he simply replied, “yes, some. Where it fits.” It is a vague answer as far as how much of the tech will be used, but nonetheless, it has been confirmed that this technology will be used.

    Bonus: Happy Marvel Holiday

    The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

    As you may or may not be aware, our space team is also planning a holiday outing. Make sure you keep an eye out for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special due 2022 on Disney+. The holiday special, written and directed by Gunn, will star all of your favorites: Quill, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Nebula and Mantis, with the only notable exception (so far) being Gamora. We’re all certainly hoping we see a dancing Groot covered in tinsel and Christmas lights! That would be the best Christmas present I could ask for! This will supposedly tie in with the Volume 3 film.

    So here is to the next adventure with Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Mantis, Groot, Nebula, Mantis and Thor. Note: honorable mentions we all want to see return include Gamora, Howard the Duck and Cosmo the space dog.

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