The third installment in Marvel’s movie franchise about a certain motley crew of heroic space misfits keeps making news for everything except, you know, the movie itself. That’s partly because the darn thing still doesn’t have a director and now we’re going to have to wait even longer for Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians to rock out to some epic tune-age again while they save the galaxy.

The original plan for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had called for starting production some time in the next few months. But then Disney canned director James Gunn after a series of inappropriate tweets from his past surfaced, which has led the studio to push the start of production all the way back to February 2021. That’s according to new information from Production Weekly. But hey! At least we now have a working title for the flick: Hot Christmas. Who knows what it means, though. Maybe because global warming is going to get so bad that the Christmas holiday will be pretty warm once this movie finally hits the big screen? That’s probably it.

At any rate, Syfy Wire points out the complexity the production delay will bring up in trying to keep the film integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline, which could change a great deal between now and then. “Two years gestating isn’t just nerve-wracking news for the film, though, but rattling news for the MCU’s larger storyline. That’s the danger when your films are so interconnected — one weak link and everything might need to be reimagined and tweaked to make it all work out.

“Will GotG 3 hit theaters in 2022? A full four years from now? The MCU could turn inside out, kill everyone, and then bring them back again before that point.”

We’ve got a script, at least. Gunn already wrote the screenplay, which the studio is keeping. The trick is now finding someone to get behind the camera for Hot Christmas. The search doesn’t appear to be going well so far, as some potential director candidates are already publicly saying no thanks. That was the case with actor Bradley Cooper, who voices Rocket in the movies. He was approached about directing but reportedly declined by saying he doesn’t want to direct things he didn’t write.

The other tricky thing is keeping the actors on board and making sure things still fit with their schedules. Dave Bautista, for example, has hinted already that he might not come back to play Drax in the next movie as a response to Gunn getting canned, and many of the other actors have similarly expressed their displeasure. So there’s a lot still to work through — but here’s hoping everyone behind the scenes gets their stuff together so the Guardians, after an interminable delay, finally get back to doing what they do best.

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