The only movie news from Marvel Studios at San Diego Comic Con was word that the last weekend in July in 2017 was being reserved for a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy. Not bad for a movie people weren’t sure about when it was announced three years, directed by a guy whose past two films cost less combined than the costume budget for GOTG and starring a giant tree, a talking racoon and the doofus from Parks and Recreation. But with just over 24 hours till the Thursday evening previews for GOTG, Marvel is more confident than ever that they’ve got franchise fire on their hands, and director James Gunn is already thinking about the possibilities.
In a new interview with that paragon of nerdiness, the Wall Street Journal, Gunn says that he’s got an idea for the next chapter of the Guardians, and while he’s also got to think about the grander Marvel Universe with this next outing, franchise connectivity is not his main priority, he says:
Gunn said he’s already working on the sequel. “I have a good idea,” he said. “Frankly, it’s more important that the story works by itself than by how it fits into ‘The Avengers.’” He has to keep certain things in mind to connect to the overriding story arc, but, “first and foremost, I’m concerned with the Marvel cosmic side of things and these characters.”
The approach makes sense, with the Guardians out there in the universe there’s not much chance they’ll just run into the Avengers, or HYDRA. Although….
There was a rumor spreading like wildfire earlier this month that the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron would open up the potentiality of a crossover between the two teams, so that’s either now been proven bunk now, or Gunn’s playing it cool. Perhaps the crossover could still happen, but aside from the arrival of said character, the story will be focused on the Guardians and not the implications of [SPOILER REDACTED] showing up in the middle of their fun.
It will also be interesting to see how Marvel Studios will experiment with connectivity in GOTG2. Many credit the sub par nature of Iron Man 2 on too much studio interference in creating the shared universe. Thor: The Dark World,meanwhile, was largely stand alone, and fans are fairly divided as to whether or not that film was a success for failure. Of course, Captain America: The Winter Soldier had a seismic impact on the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), impacting everything from Age of Ultron to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., making it more than successful when it comes to integration. Might Marvel be getting better at incorporating the big picture, or did they get lucky? Time will tell.
Guardians of the Galaxy will be in theaters everywhere this Friday, while Guardians of the Galaxy 2 opens July 28, 2017.