12:02pm PT by Aaron Couch
'Guardians of the Galaxy 3': James Gunn Returning to Write and Direct
James Gunn has dropped some news of galactic proportions.
The filmmaker will return to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, he announced Monday on Facebook.
Gunn said that the question he gets asked the most is if he would return to helm a third installment of the franchise, and wrote it is only "after many months of ruminations and discussions" that he now knows the answer.
"I could save this answer for the first, random interviewer to ask me during the press junket but instead I thought I’d share it with the most important people in the Guardiansverse — you, the fans, who have been so incredibly supportive and enthusiastic over the past five years, it has moved me to tears on a regular basis," Gunn wrote. "So, yes, I’m returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In the end, my love for Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Star-Lord, Yondu, Mantis, Drax, and Nebula — and some of the other forthcoming heroes — goes deeper than you guys can possibly imagine, and I feel they have more adventures to go on and things to learn about themselves and the wonderful and sometimes terrifying universe we all inhabit. And, like in both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, we will work on creating the story that goes beyond what you expect."
Gunn noted that while a decade of Marvel Cinematic Universe storytelling has been leading to 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians 3 will help set up the next 10 years of storytelling for the MCU.
"It will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond," he wrote. "I will be working side-by-side with Kevin Feige and the gang to help design where these stories go, and make sure the future of the Marvel Cosmic Universe is as special and authentic and magical as what we have created so far."
The news comes just weeks ahead of the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which features Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel). The film also stars Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn and Kurt Russell as Star-Lord’s father, Ego.
Guardians 2 earned an extremely rare 100 percent at a test screening in February.
Guardians 2 is tracking for a massive $150 million debut. The 2014 first installment was a surprise hit that opened to $94.3 million on its way to a $733 million global haul.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens May 5.
Read Gunn's full statement below.