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Guardians of the Galaxy 3 director James Gunn teases a tragic ending

Published Jan 28th, 2022 2:41PM EST
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 poster
Image: Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 won’t hit theaters until May 5th, 2023, and that assumes Marvel sticks to the current release schedule. But James Gunn is shooting the movie as we speak, and the director has been offering teasers about what fans can expect from the film. After saying that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 isn’t going to be the movie you expect, the director is back with another teaser. And just like last time, it’s not necessarily good news. Gunn suggests that Guardians 3 will have a rather tragic finale.

Before we move on, we’ll warn you that spoilers will follow below.

Here’s where the Guardians story left off

Guardians of the Galaxy has been an incredible success for Marvel. The film introduced an entire team of relatively unknown superheroes who hailed from different parts of the universe. There seemed to be no connection between the action-packed but extremely hilarious Gunn movie and the rest of the MCU or Avengers.

We kept following the Guardians in the Vol 2. sequel before watching them in Infinity War and Endgame. And it all paid off.

Having these interactions between the Earth’s mightiest heroes and the Guardians was a fantastic experience. And we’re likely going to see some of the Guardians in Thor: Love and Thunder later this year — before we move on to Guardians 3 and its potentially heartbreaking finale.

The point in this brief recap is that the Guardians of the Galaxy films have delivered lighter stories so far. Each character has experienced their own tragedy, and they’re forever scarred as a result. But, overall, the first two Guardians episodes had a somewhat lighter tone than most other MCU movies. The Guardians are the kind of family movies that MCU fans of any age can enjoy without necessarily dealing with the darkness of each independent character.

But bad things can still happen to the Guardians. And we’ve witnessed a few massive challenges thrown their way.

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) died in Infinity War, and we got a variant to replace her in Endgame. Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) spent five years without their friends, as the remaining Guardians died in Infinity War. All these events might impact the Guardians dynamic in Vol 3. which will deliver a finale to this initial Guardians trilogy.

Avengers Infinity War
Avengers and Guardians team members on Titan in Avengers: Infinity War. Image source: Marvel Studios

Is there tragedy in the Guardians 3 finale?

Director James Gunn talked to The Deadline Podcast about his Marvel and DC projects. In addition to Guardians 3, he’s also involved in the Peacemaker series, which is now streaming on HBO Max.

That’s where the director offered the kind of Guardians 3 teasers that fans will not necessarily like. Gunn said that the upcoming sequel will represent the finale of this team of heroes.

“This is the end for us, the last time people will see this team of Guardians,” the director revealed.

That’s not necessarily surprising. Again, the primary Gamora already died. But it’s not all tragedy in this Guardians 3 finale teaser. Not to mention the way Gunn phrased it all. He implies that we might see a different team beyond the events in Vol. 3.

But he also explicitly teased the potential tragedy in the film. “It’s big; it’s so, so big and dark, and different from what people might be expecting it to be,” Gunn said.

Whatever the Guardians’ mission might be, Gunn’s comments suggest that it won’t necessarily deliver a happy ending. And we already know that Marvel isn’t afraid to kill or retire major MCU characters.

“I just want to be true to the characters, the story and give people the wrap-up that they deserve for the story,” Gunn said. “That’s always a little bit scary; I’m doing my best.”

Gunn did not reveal any specific details about the Guardians 3 plot or finale. But he’s very aware that third films in trilogies are often disappointing. And he seems to be doing his best to avoid making Guardians 3 a disappointing movie.

“I’m aware that the third film in most trilogies sucks; not always,” he added.

Mixtape Vol. 3

The only tragic detail that Gunn revealed about the movie concerns the way the Guardians play music. He said the mixtape in Guardians 3 will be “Youndu’s Zune; the Zune is the mix.”

Of course, the fact that anyone in the universe is still using a Zune to play music is already heartbreaking.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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