James Gunn Will Write & Direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

It's official: James Gunn will return to write and direct "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Gunn made the official announcement in a long post on his Facebook page, writing, "So, yes, I’m returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

"Before I was able to honestly answer this, I needed to know it was, in my heart, what I truly felt called to do," he explained. "There is a history in Hollywood of haphazard endings to trilogies, and I didn’t want to become a part of that dishonorable tradition of pretending the third one doesn’t exist. I couldn’t do it for the money, and I couldn’t do it because it was what other people wanted me to do. I needed to do it because it was what I needed to do. I have never made choices in my career based on anything other than passion and love for the stories and characters, and I didn’t want to start now."

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In his post, Gunn revealed that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will take place after the events of "Avengers: Infinity War," saying, "Much of what’s happened in the MCU for the past ten 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 ten years and beyond."

In his post, Gunn cited his love for the characters and thanked those at Marvel Studios and Disney that helped usher the "Guardians" into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Kevin Feige, Lou D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Bob Iger, Alan Horn and Alan Bergman. According to Gunn, "I can’t fricking wait to get started."

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Back in August 2016, Gunn was asked by a fan if “Guardians 3” was in the works, to which he responded, “There are no real plans, and I haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m doing next.” He also cast doubt on his involvement with a third “Guardians” film even after Aerosmith singer Steve Tyler expressed interest in a cameo. However, Gunn began to change his tune last month when he confirmed that there would be a third "Guardians of the Galaxy" film and that he would be involved in it, though he didn't specify what that involvement might be. Nevertheless, Gunn’s announcement is a change in tune, but one that’s sure to thrill “Guardians of the Galaxy” fans.

Even as Gunn talks “Guardians 3,” the release date for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” looms ever closer. The sequel film, which hits theaters this May, brings back fan-favorite characters like Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot and adds a few new members to the team, including Mantis and Nebula. Together, this motley crew will encounter Star-Lord’s father Ego the Living Planet and then have to save the galaxy — again.

Written and directed by James Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2″ stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Kurt Russell. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” arrives in theaters May 5.

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