Of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, none has been so immediately embraced and fairly universally beloved as Guardians of the Galaxy, even garnering more goodwill than the first Avengers movie. A huge part of this success is the attention to developing characters, something which writer-director James Gunn is hoping to continue through Vol. 2 and an eventual Vol. 3. Earlier this week, Gunn announced he would be closing out his Marvel filmmaking with the third installment — which would be the end of this iteration of the Guardians — and now he’s followed up to EW that his trilogy will be considered “one story.”
“I think really that the three movies work together as a whole, they’re going to tell one story,” Gunn told EW at the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. “This is the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and we’re going to get to know the characters even better, in the same way we got to know them much better in this film than the first one.” Gunn later added that he wouldn’t have agreed to direct a third one if he didn’t have “a fairly clear idea” of where the story would go.
In terms of making enormous blockbuster movies, and especially those in an ever-expanding cinematic universe, the notion of putting a finite number on the films in one particular story is a novel and welcome one. There have been Marvel movies now for coming up on a decade, and Guardians Vol. 2 will be the 15th movie in the series, and at least another eight on the way by 2019. That Gunn is able within that gargantuan string of movies to eke out a single, unified story of a group of characters, largely in a vacuum from the rest of the MCU, is incredibly impressive.
And naturally, the Guardians themselves will appear in some fashion in Avengers: Infinity War, since — as of now — they’re the only ones who’ve even come close to facing off against its main villain, Thanos—Gamora and Nebula are his adoptive daughters, after all. Based on what Gunn has said, however, it seems as though none of the Guardians will be affected too much by the events of Infinity War. He keeps using the word “Trilogy,” and as we’ve seen in the two other completed trilogies thus far (Iron Man and Captain America) the Marvel movies tend to be totally shaped by the experiences of the team-up films. I’m actually fairly stoked that we’ll be able to watch the Guardians movies on their own and totally not need a primer of other movies.
What do you think? Will the “one story” notion work for you in the larger MCU? Let me know in the comments below! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5.