First it was happening, then it wasn’t, then it was again. Now that it’s officially official that a Guardians of the Galaxy animated series is actually in the works, there has been a great deal of speculation about if and how it will connect to director James Gunn’s hit film and the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. The answer to this question is simple and blunt, there will be no connection between these disparate entities.
Initially, rumors circulated that the animated series, which is slated to appear on Disney XD at some unspecified date in 2015, will serve as a bridge between the first movie and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which is scheduled for release on May 5, 2017 as part of Marvel’s expansive Phase 3. Wherever those started, we know where they end, with Gunn.
With the home release of Guardians on the horizon—it’s available digitally starting next week on November 18, and hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 9—the director has been everywhere, dropping random bonus features and ensuring us that the sequel will be more than just a build up to Avengers: Infinity Wars. Talking to /Film, he provided a concise, cut and dry explanation, saying, “Is that what somebody said? Because that’s not true. There’s no way. It’s totally separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and whoever said that, it pisses me off.”
Well that seems rather clear and straightforward, doesn’t it? Regardless of the lack of connection, we’re still pretty stoked to see what they can do with this series. With the strange, mismatched cast of characters, it’s tailor made for a cartoon, and even though there’s no explicit connection, the series is obviously based on the movie version of the characters and set up.
Gunn also talked about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy 2. He says:
I think the main thing with moving on is we can’t just repeat ourselves. We can’t just say ‘Okay, well let’s start with something sad and shift into something really happy with some music and let’s have the Awesome Mix work in exactly the same way only with songs from the 80s instead of the 70s.’ All of those things, that doesn’t interest me. For me the shift is really about getting to know the characters on a deeper level, knowing them more intimately and uncovering facets of those characters that make them more real to us. At the center of what works about Guardians is that people like the characters.
And talking to MTV, Gunn reiterates that, though part of the larger MCU, Guardians is more than just a side story for the Avengers. He says:
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.