'Guardians of the Galaxy 3' Release Date, Plot, & More on Peter Quill & Co.

The (As)Guardians are back in business.

guardians of the galaxy vol 3 release date trailer cast villain gamora spoilers theories rumors james gunn marvel phase 4 mcu

The Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t done in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just yet. Production on Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 is underway with an eye towards releasing the film sometime during the MCU’s Phase 4, which runs through 2022. There is still so much that needs to be revealed about the film, but luckily we know that a majority of our favorite actors, as well as director James Gunn, will be returning.

Here’s everything else we know (so far) about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, from probably release dates to all the leaks, rumors, and theories from around the web.

What Is the Title of Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

No official title has been confirmed for Guardians 3. Previously, the second movie in the Guardians trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, echoed the mixtape vibe of the film’s soundtrack. The third could follow in one of two ways: either by matching the title to some element of the most (a.k.a. the more traditional, obvious way to go) or it could continue the mixtape moment and tack on “Vol. 3”, “Remixed,” or something similar.

Then again, maybe Thor really will get his way and the next movie will be called Asguardians of the Galaxy like the god of thunder joked at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Peter Quill and Rocket Raccoon have very different ideas about who runs the show.

When Will Guardians 3 Be Released?

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 will be released sometime during the MCU’s Phase 4. Marvel Studios may confirm the exact release dates of every film in Phase 4 when they show up to present at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 in July, though we might have to wait until Disney’s annual D23 event in late August.

We do know Marvel Studios has blocked out (for now) eight key premiere dates from the second half of 2019 through 2022. Those dates are:

  • May 1, 2020
  • July 21, 2020 (previously August 7)
  • November 6, 2020
  • May 7, 2021
  • July 30, 2021
  • November 5, 2021
  • February 18, 2022
  • May 6, 2022

The first Guardians film was released August 1, 2014 while Vol. 2 was released May 5, 2017. There is no August release date in this lineup but there are two key May dates — May 7, 2021 and May 6, 2022 — where Marvel Studios could slot Guardians 3. If so, it would be a sign they’re hoping to repeat the success of the second film by scheduling it for early summer box office success in a time frame they know has worked before.

Is There a Trailer For Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Yet?

Filming has yet to begin on Guardians 3 so no new footage has been released. Marvel Studios may show some teaser footage or behind-the-scenes footage from pre-production at SDCC 2019 as a way of building hype, but that’s just an educated guess.

A teaser trailer will most likely drop around a year before or closer to when the film actually premieres. So we might not see any new Guardians 3 footage until spring 2020 at the earliest.

What Is the Plot of Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

No official plot has been released yet.

Guardians 3 will have some big, intergalactic fish to fry, so to speak, as the Guardians recover from the events of Avengers: Endgame. Endgame was pivotal in setting up the next Guardians adventure. First up: the addition of Thor. The god of thunder decided to ditch a life of governing the sleepy Nordic town of New Asgard (it’s all in Valkyrie’s hands now) and took up Rocket Raccoon on his offer to join the Guardians for more space adventures. Thor’s place on the team will no doubt provide some levity for the new film as Peter tries not to be visibly threatened by how charming and capable the God of Thunder really is.

The Guardians will need all the laughs they can get because they still have to deal with the (hopefully temporary) loss of Gamora. Due to some fun time travel hiccups, Endgame had 2014 Gamora — the version of Gamora who existed before the first Guardians film — show up during the final battle against Thanos. Peter and Gamora were briefly reunited on the battlefield, but she punched him the second he tried to hug her before disappearing. At the end of Endgame, we saw Peter trying to find signs of Gamora anywhere out in space but to no avail. Don’t expect Peter to let this go in Guardians 3.

Noted MCU leaker Roger Wardell may have also spilled key information about the Guardians 3 plot in a tweet from May 7, 2019. Wardell wrote, “Rocket’s creator is the High Evolutionary, Drax is in for a big surprise when he discovers his daughter is alive. Rocket also gets a love interest in the form of Lylla. Nebula and Star Lord will grow into closer friends.” As with all Wardell leaks, there’s been no secondary source to confirm their leaks but earlier tweets about Endgame proved to be eerily accurate.

Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, Kurt Russell and Zoe Saldana in in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Ego shows of his handiwork to the Guardians.

Who Is Directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

James Gunn will return to direct Guardians 3 and will write the script, too. It’s been a long road back to Guardians, the MCU franchise Gunn helped direct to success and infuse with his own darkly humorous sensibilities. He was re-hired by Disney after being fired by the company in July 2018 when a smear campaign involving old, problematic tweets was waged against him. The Guardians cast rallied support and actor Dave Bautista went so far as to threaten to break his Marvel Studios contract because of Gunn’s firing as a show of good faith for the director.

During Gunn’s time away from Disney, he was hired by Warner Bros. to write and direct The Suicide Squad. Gunn will hold on to both his DC and Marvel gigs, implying he is about to have the busiest two to three years out of of anyone in the film industry.

Who Is Returning For Guardians 3?

Thanks to the magic of an iron-clad Marvel Studios contract, most of the core Guardians cast members will return for Guardians 3. This includes:

  • Chris Pratt as “Peter Quill/Star-Lord”
  • Dave Bautista as “Drax”
  • Pom Klementieff as “Mantis”
  • Bradley Cooper as “Rocket Raccoon”

Interestingly, neither Zoe Saldana nor Vin Diesel, who play Gamora and Groot respectively, aren’t listed on the Guardians 3 IMDb cast page but it would be a safe bet to expect they will show up in some fashion in the film.

There will also be some familiar returns from the Vol. 2 cast, including Elizabeth Debicki, reprising her role as Ayesha, Sovereign High Priestess who created Adam Warlock at the end of Vol. 2, and Sean Gunn, little brother of director James Gunn and portrayer of Kraglin the Ravager.

Who Is the Villain in Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

No villain has been confirmed for Guardians 3.

Adam Warlock’s arrival, as teased in the Vol. 2 post-credits, has led to speculation he and his creator, Ayesha, will inevitably be the Guardians 3 villains. Ayesha certainly has enough of a motive for revenge against the Guardians and she has created the perfect weapon to do it.

Gunn tried to mitigate any Adam Warlock rumors on Twitter in November 2017 while discussing Vol. 2: “And despite so many people thinking Adam will show up in Vol 3 that is something that we have never confirmed. Who knows how long it will take him to bake in that cocoon. That said, I love Adam. But the time must be right.”

Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, and Pom Klementieff in Avengers: Infinity War
Mantis, Peter, and Drax help Iron Man and Spider-Man take down Thanos.

Are There Any Big Guardians 3 Rumors I Should Know About?

The biggest Guardians 3 rumor floating around as of mid-June 2019 is that Lady Gaga might be up for the role of Lylla, Rocket’s love interest. The outlet Film Updates claimed to break the news via their Twitter account on June 18:

“Lady Gaga is reportedly being considered for the role of Lylla, Rocket’s love interest who is set to make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This would mark a reunion between Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who voices Rocket, after last year’s A Star is Born.”

There has been no firm confirmation from Marvel Studios, Gunn, or Gaga about this. If Gaga was cast as Lylla, it would indeed mean a reunion between Cooper and Gaga — and the second time they’ve played love interests opposite one another.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be released during Marvel’s Phase 4.

Media via Marvel Studios., Marvel