While Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe both consist of six films, Phase 3 currently has 11 films on its docket. One of those highly anticipated movies is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - the sequel to James Gunn's 2014 mega-hit - and it sounds like a third instalment of the franchise is already in the works. But will Gunn return to direct?
"Right now I really am just concerned with doing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2", Gunn said in his latest Facebook Q&A. "I’m not sure what I’m going to do after this... Marvel has talked to me about continuing on. I’m not sure if that’s what I want to do or if that’s not what I want to do. I really just want to make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the greatest possible movie that I can, and something that’s as honest and sincere and true as it can possibly be."
Interestingly, while Jon Favreau and Joss Whedon have both helmed two Marvel films apiece, no director has stayed the course to complete a trilogy of films in the MCU. It's hard to think of another director who would be better suited to takeover the franchise from Gunn should he choose to step down after Vol. 2, and the fact that Marvel are already asking him about Vol. 3 is a clear sign of their confidence in him.
With two more years of Phase 3 movies due after Vol. 2 is released, Gunn has got plenty of time to make a decision either way.
Directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will hit UK cinemas on April 28, 2017 and open in US theatres on May 5, 2017.