SDCC: James Gunn Writing, Directing "Guardians of the Galaxy" Sequel

With just a week until the highly anticipated opening of "Guardians of the Galaxy," and a day until Marvel's Comic-Con International presentation, word arrives that James Gunn will return to write and direct the sequel.

The news, which shouldn't be a surprise, considering early reviews for the space adventures, comes courtesy of Nicole Perlman, who penned an early draft of the film and is credited as co-writer.

"James will be directing 'Guardians 2,'" she told TheWrap, "so he would also be writing 'Guardians 2'." Perlman's involvement is less certain, although she said she'd like to work with Marvel again.

A sequel at this point seems like a no-brainer for the studio, which in the past week has claimed six more release dates, taking its film slate into 2019. It seems likely one of those will belong to the "Guardians" sequel.

Gunn, who's made no secret that he'd like to helm the second "Guardians," fueled speculation last week that he might succeed Joss Whedon as director "The Avengers 3" when he noted that his Marvel contract is for two films but doesn't specify which ones. This news would seem to put that to rest.

"Guardians of the Galaxy," which is on track to gross more than $60 million in its opening weekend, stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou , John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.

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