The various directors, showrunners, and writers are tasked with not just making compelling standalone stories, but also ensuring that these stories remain consistent with all the MCU lore established in previous movies and sci fi series. Balancing various projects across both the DCEU and MCU Phase 4, James Gunn is well-versed in navigating cinematic universes — but admitted in a new interview with The Playlist that this balance isn’t always easy.
“I think some people, they take these universes very, very seriously and it’s hard for me,” he said. “I do it on Guardians when I’m working on Guardians Vol. 3, and somebody says, ‘Well, but in Avengers: Endgame; Will said that.’ And then I always jokingly say, ‘Well, that’s not canon.’ I mean, when you’re working with different people taking on the same characters, and even when I have a lot of control as I do with the Guardians or whatever, it can be difficult.”
This isn’t the first time that Gunn has spoken out about his expectations and interpretation of MCU continuity. In March 2022, when social media became ablaze with rumours of a prequel Guardians series focussing on a young Gamora and Nebula, Gunn was quick to shoot it down — noting that it didn’t make any sense.
Given Gamora and Nebula were raised to be warriors by the Mad Titan Thanos — and were heavily abused in the process — Gunn said in a tweet that the adoptive sisters’ past wasn’t exactly spin-off material. “[Thanos] tortured them,” he wrote. “[It’s] not exactly a “family-like” relationship.”
The Guardians will return to the big screen in July as supporting characters in Thor: Love and Thunder and will later front their own Holiday Special on streaming service Disney Plus in December 2022. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is set to be the final movie featuring the team, will be released in theatres on May 5, 2023.