James Gunn revealed a long time ago that he wasn’t planning on crafting any more intergalactic Marvel Cinematic Universe adventures once Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hit theaters in May 2023, only to backtrack slightly and give it the old “never say never” spiel, which is about as non-committal as it gets.
Looking at the wave of critical acclaim currently being surfed by The Suicide Squad, Gunn is going to find himself more in demand than ever once he caps off his MCU trilogy, with Warner Bros. and DC Films already desperate to get him back in the fold. The filmmaker is a very close friend of Dave Bautista, who often gives off the impression that he can’t wait to be out of his Marvel contract given his dismay at having to spend hours in the makeup chair everyday and get into the sort of shape required to parade around the set shirtless now that he’s in his 50s.
In a new interview, Gunn seemed to confirm once and for all that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be his final time at the helm of the series, but unlike Bautista, he remains much more open to the idea of one day tackling another property for Kevin Feige’s outfit.
“The last Marvel project? Who knows, but I see it as my last Guardians movie. I’m a guy who never says never because I’ve seen too many people say ‘never’ and be pulled back into the fray, so I wouldn’t say that. But I see it as being my last Guardians movie. I know Dave sees it as being his last Guardians movie, and Dave and I are pretty much attached to the hip on those projects. So I don’t see me going on and doing any more after that.”
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The only directors to have jumped between standalone franchises so far are the Russo brothers, who oversaw Captain America: The Winter Solider and Civil War before assuming control of The Avengers, and Jon Watts , who’ll move straight onto Fantastic Four once he wraps up Spider-Man: No Way Home. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might be his last one, but Gunn could well be sticking around the MCU for at least a little longer.