James Gunn Says Guardians 2 Won’t Set Up Infinity War

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Like no filmic entity before it, corporate synergy is the name of the game at Marvel Studios, which is why many assumed that the inclusion of Guardians of the Galaxy footage during their big Avengers: Infinity War unveiling in October indicated that Star-Lord and co. were on their way to playing a major role in the conflict against Thanos. Not necessarily so, says James Gunn, who told MTV that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will not pave the way for the encroaching battle over the Infinity Gauntlet.

“I don’t feel beholden to that stuff at all,” Gunn said. “I think it’s really about the Guardians and what they are doing. We’re not subservient to the Avengers. ‘Guardians 2’ is not a movie that’s made to move toward ‘Infinity War.’ It’s something that’s made to move toward future cosmic movies, so I don’t feel that that is something that affects me that much.”

Prior to the release of Guardians in August, Gunn told Sky Movies that he and Marvel had “talked about all sorts of possibilities for a crossover,” and that he knew “what the basic plan is… it could always change at any minute.”

“That could or could not include a couple of Avengers and a couple of Guardians meeting up, or all of the Avengers and all of the Guardians,” he added during the July interview. “But, we do inhabit the same universe and they’re pretty big personalities that are likely to, at some point or another, run into each other.”

After the first film crossed the three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollars line at the worldwide box office, it’s possible Gunn and Marvel feel like the characters are capable of pulling their own weight and don’t need to be tied in so snugly with Tony Stark and his fabulous freak brothers. While an Avengers crossover with both the Guardians and Nova Corps feels inevitable, especially as the cosmic aspects of the MCU spill over, it looks like the second galactic entry will be a standalone adventure. Whether there will be ties to 2018’s Captain Marvel and Inhumans is another story altogether…

To be written and directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will once again feature Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper as unlikely heroes who must team up in order to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions. It will be released on May 5, 2017.

The first Guardians of the Galaxy will be available on Blu-ray on December 9. Avengers: Infinity War Part I will be released on May 4, 2018, with Part II arriving one year later on May 3, 2019.