The two installments to date have combined to earn over $1.5 billion at the box office and are held in the highest regard by Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, but it’s been clear for a while that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will mark the end of an era for the franchise’s premiere band of intergalactic misfits.

By the time the threequel lands in May 2023, it’ll be the longest wait ever between installments of a standalone MCU series, with Vol. 3 arriving seven years to the day after its predecessor. Kevin Feige’s shared mythology has always tended to operate by the rule of three, with Thor: Love and Thunder the exception so far, and it sounds as though the same fate will befall Star-Lord and the gang.

Dave Bautista has hardly been shy in admitting that he’s got no plans to stick around after Vol. 3, while James Gunn also confirmed it would be his last time at the helm. In a new interview, the Drax star revealed that the blockbuster comic book adventure is going to wrap things up for the Guardians.

“It’s our third film. We’re going to wrap it up. And it’s been a hell of a journey with a few bumps. So I’m looking forward to this, man. My cast and obviously the director, James Gunn, they’re like family to me. This is kind of where my journey started. It’s come full circle and I’m looking forward to wrapping it up. And it’s a bittersweet, I mean, I’ve been doing Guardians since 2013. And, you know, when this comes out, you know, it’ll be in 2023, so that’s a, you know, ten-year journey. Part of the journey is the end. You know, all things must end. And, you know, I’m looking forward to kind of wrapping this up with my friends and family.”

We might not be getting any more Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be saying goodbye to the entire team. Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora and Karen Gillian’s Nebula stand out as a trio of fan favorites with plenty of potential to continue on as recurring characters, but we can safely say at this stage that Bautista won’t be joining them.

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