Path of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is Not Beholden to 'The Avengers'
by Ethan Anderton
November 14, 2014
Now that Marvel has put all their cards on the table regarding their film slate for Phase Three of their cinematic universe, we have a good idea of what all the activity regarding the Infinity Stones is leading to, especially since the next chapter in The Avengers franchise is The Avengers: Infinity War, and it will arrive in two parts in the summer of 2018 and 2019. Many are already assuming that we'll see Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers team up to take down Thanos after he presumably gets his hands on the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet, however, James Gunn has indicated that may not be the case.
While participating in a small conference to promote the Blu-Ray release of Guardians of the Galaxy on December 9th, Gunn makes it sounds like the success of the film may have given him more freedom to play in his own sandbox that isn't a slave to the events in The Avengers franchise. Gunn talks about Guardians of the Galaxy and their ties to Phase Three (via SlashFilm):
"Who knows how much we’ve influenced Phase Three but one thing is the 'Guardians' aren’t back seat to The Avengers. Captain America, Thor, those other movies, they do really support The Avengers and I think take a back seat to The Avengers. The Guardians are their own thing. The cosmic side of the universe is its own thing. And because the movie was so successful, it was more successful than Iron Man was, that changed the way other people looked at it but I still look at it the same way."
In fact, it sounds like that Guardians of the Galaxy might almost allow for a somewhat separate universe that merely has ties and influences on what happens in the franchises we've seen mostly unfold on Earth (and Asgard). Gunn addresses some of the hype recently where he mentioned some stuff about the future of Guardians of the Galaxy, and everyone assumed he was talking about another sequel. Instead, his thoughts lie on a much bigger plane:
"There was a big rash of 'James Gunn Was Thinking Of Ideas For Guardians of the Galaxy 3.' I don’t think I really said that. What I said was 'I had ideas for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I knew what I was going to do for that, and I had ideas for beyond that.' That doesn’t necessarily mean 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3' because there are a lot of different characters in this movie that could go in a lot of different directions. And some of the characters I’m most interested in aren’t necessarily 'Guardians of the Galaxy.'"
But what about the ties to Infinity War? Surely that means the Guardians of the Galaxy are integral to the future of The Avengers and vice versa. Well, Gunn doesn't exactly see it that way. He reiterates and expands upon that idea to MTV:
"I don’t feel beholden to that stuff at all. I think it's really about the Guardians and what they are doing. We're not subservient to the Avengers. 'Guardians 2' is not a movie that's made to move toward 'Infinity War.' It's something that's made to move toward future cosmic movies, so I don't feel that that is something that affects me that much."
So what we might end up seeing is that stuff that happens in the Guardians of the Galaxy universe, like losing track of an Infinity Stone, may have a big impact on what happens in The Avengers universe, but the job of the cosmic franchise isn't to simply be another small piece leading up to the assembly of that superhero puzzle. Honestly, as someone who loved the characters and cosmic universe of Guardians of the Galaxy, I'm happy to hear that Marvel wants to let Gunn play in this big sandbox. It makes things feel that much more like a real comic book universe with various sects having their own stories that don't simply serve a larger storyline just for The Avengers' sake, and that's just perfect. Sound good?