The first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie after Avengers: Infinity War is Ant-Man and the Wasp, but we already know that it actually takes place shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Now, recent comments from the Infinity War directors make it seem possible that future MCU movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could follow suit and take place long before the battle against Thanos wiped half of our favorite superheroes off the face off the earth.
In an interview published Sunday with The Huffington Post, directors Anthony and Joe Russo responded to the greatest criticism they’ve gotten over Infinity War: How is it that so many Marvel characters will supposedly return in future Marvel movies if Thanos killed them with the Infinity Gauntlet?
“Just because there’s a sequel on the books doesn’t mean … people become accustomed to time moving linearly in the MCU,” Anthony Russo said, “That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. There’s a lot of very inventive ways of where the story can go from here.”
The implication here is that films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will still include dead heroes like Gamora and Star-Lord, but these stories will take place before Infinity War.
You could have this assumption about several movies on the Marvel release calendar, especially the untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel and the seemingly inevitable Black Panther 2. But Anthony’s brother and co-director targeted the Guardians of the Galaxy specifically. “There’s four years between Guardians 2 and Infinity War,” Joe Russo said. “That’s a long time, and a lot of Guardians stories to tell. Again, as Anthony said, don’t expect everything to move forward in a linear fashion in the Marvel universe.”
That makes it seem pretty clear that the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie will take place in the past.
Avengers: Infinity War did a lot to make sure the viewer knew that a lot of time had passed since Vol. 2. At one point, Rocket says to Star-Lord, “Who are you kidding, you’re one sandwich away from fat!” Star-Lord had put on a noticeable amount of weight in those four years. He also shares a kiss with Gamora that makes it seem like they’ve been in a legitimate relationship for some time.
And let’s not forget how much growing up Groot did after spending all of Vol. 2 as Baby Groot before growing up into Teen Groot for Infinity War. A lot of time had passed, and the team went through a lot in those years.
So what happened in those four years? We could learn exactly what happened to Kraglin, the guy who took Yondu’s arrow at the end of Vol. 2. Who knows what other mysteries we might uncover, but, unless this is a total fakeout, it looks like all those Guardians of the Galaxy heroes dying in Infinity War might be permanent.