Photo Credit: Marvel Studios
After Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, the Guardians' next appearance will be in Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel instead of their own threequel. But while nothing beyond 2019 has been green lit by Marvel yet, writer/director James Gunn is certain that a third Guardians of the Galaxy will be part of the next Marvel phase.
Gunn shared his confidence with Complex while promoting his new non-Marvel film The Belko Experiment, which he wrote but didn't direct. As he discussed his other movie this year, he said "There will be a Guardians 3, that's for sure" although he's currently "trying to figure it out." Nonetheless, he wants to keep his options open as he figures out "what I want to spend the next three years of my life doing."
The plans for Marvel after Infinity War are still unknown too, along with the franchises and characters that the MCU will lean on in Phase Four. While the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the other original Avengers may get to retire, get killed off or get recast, the Guardians are in position to join Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel and others in carrying the load for a while, even after they return to their own galaxy.
Everything depends on how Infinity War turns out, as the Russo Brothers take temporary custody of Gunn's Guardians. Nonetheless, Gunn knows enough to say that they have "not the biggest, but, an integral part" in the battle. Despite dozens of MCU characters being in the saga, the Guardians do need to have one of the more important parts, since Thanos is finally terrorizing our galaxy.
Although Vol 2 presumably needs to set the Guardians up for Infinity War, Gunn assures "it has no connection to the rest of the Marvel universe and none were ever mandated." Nonetheless, with Nebula, Yondu and new character Mantis expected to be in Infinity War as well, Vol 2 should at least help explain why they come to Earth with the Guardians too.
Those details and others are still locked into secrecy by Gunn, even after the latest revealing trailer and the beginning of the film's ad campaign.
In the meantime, Gunn has The Belko Experiment to help unleash on March 17, before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is released seven weeks later on May 5. The Guardians will then get a year of rest until Infinity War starts on May 4, 2018 and ends on May 3, 2019, whether or not the starting date for their next decade of galaxy-saving is set by then.