Marvel has created the ultimate conversation piece with its Cinematic Universe, for not only are people talking about their upcoming movies, they’re also talking about how these movies may be connected, what actors will do guest spots, what comic book arcs will be used, and much more. It’s a never-ending hub of speculation, and one of the bigger questions centers on where the Guardians of the Galaxy movies fit into the studio’s other super-franchise The Avengers, and it turns out it’s probably less than you think.
We already sorta know that Guardians will possibly have maybe something to do with Avengers: Age of Ultron—this is an industry of rumors, after all—but looking beyond that, it seemed likely that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will play into the outer space adventures of the Avengers: Infinity War films. Director James Gunn appears to be leaving that train of thought at the station, however, in a recent interview with MTV. When asked about how much freedom he had with his sequel (or sequels, depending on how popular Guardians remains) in this Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gunn had this to say:
I don’t feel beholden to that stuff at all. 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.
For me, someone who is far less interested in giant connections than actual good storytelling, Gunn’s words are a beacon of hope. I’m perfectly happy if the only thing tying Guardians and Avengers is Thanos (Josh Brolin), the completely wasted Big Baddie who just sits on this throne and shows off his big jaw all the time. If Iron Man or the Incredible Hulk desperately needs to make a cameo, I’m fine with that, too. But what I don’t need is another Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which took forever to do anything interesting solely because it was waiting on Captain America: The Winter Soldier to come out first.
Granted, none of that would likely happen with an actual feature film, but I put nothing past anyone these days. Here’s where Guardians of the Galaxy 2 fits into the massive Phase 3 that Marvel has planned:
Guardians fits right into things, joining both Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok on Marvel’s 2017 slate. Will these three films be connected at all? I guess we’ll just have to wait through another two-and-a-half-years and a billion-and-a-half more rumors.