Guardians Vol. 3 Is Happening With Or Without Director James Gunn

There’s good news and there’s bad news for Guardians of the Galaxy fans.

The good news is there will almost certainly be a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which should come as no surprise but was confirmed by Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 writer-director James Gunn in his interview with Complex this week. The bad news is that Gunn may not be involved in the third instalment. After discussing a new film he wrote, The Belko Experiment (which comes out tomorrow), Gunn told Complex “I got to figure out where I want to be, what I want to spend the next three years of my life doing. You know, I’m going to make another big movie; [but] is it the Guardians or something else?”

We’re obviously praying that Gunn doesn’t choose the “something else” option— the first Guardians was both critically and commercially acclaimed and, based on a few recently released trailers, Vol. 2 looks to be just as good, if not better, than Vol. 1. But Gunn’s reluctance to jump on board for Vol. 3 makes some sense, since making a movie as huge as Guardians of the Galaxy clearly takes a lot of time and effort that could be channelled into other projects.

We’re cautiously optimistic that Gunn will make a triumphant return, though—apart from being an almost guaranteed box office smash, Guardians Vol. 2 was apparently extremely creatively fulfilling to write and direct. “The entire story was written by me alone in a room back in August 2014, and it stayed that way from the very beginning. I have the budget to do everything I want to do creatively. It’s an incredibly personal film for me,” Gunn told Complex. If all he says is true, it’ll probably take something pretty special for Gunn to decide to give that up.

In other, less worrying Guardians news, we now have a bit more insight into how Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) is able to make himself look human in Vol. 2. “Ego is a living planet who is able to manifest himself in different ways he’s been alone for millions of years and he’s learned how to control the molecules around him in such a way as to create avatars of themselves,” Gunn explained.

Unfortunately Ego and the other Guardians characters probably won’t be running into the Avengers or any other members of the MCU in Vol. 2, as Gunn described the film as “a very self-enclosed story.” However, Gunn did hint at the Guardians making an appearance in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, making the vague statement that “I don’t think we should overstate things that it is an Avengers movie, but the Guardians are a part of the cosmic universe, they’re a part of Thanos’ stories, so, they are in there, and they have, not the biggest, but, an integral part to that.”

Infinity War doesn’t come out until next year, but we can catch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in theatres much sooner.