Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was originally supposed to open in theaters this month. While Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are certainly bummed the movie isn't finished and ready for release, director James Gunn sees it differently. Back in 2018, Disney severed ties with Gunn when some old insensitive tweets from the director resurfaced. It became a messy and public situation, with the cast and crew, along with MCU fans, demanding he be rehired.
Disney ultimately decided to bring James Gunn back on board for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but it was well after production was originally set to start. In the time that he was on the outs with the studio, he took a meeting with DC and Warner Bros., accepting the job to write and direct The Suicide Squad, which further delayed the highly anticipated MCU project. Gunn had this to say about the original release date for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and why the delay is actually a good thing.
"Original date for the release of Vol. 3 was going to be May of this year - we would have been delayed because of coronavirus. God works in mysterious ways."
If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would have been made on its original schedule, it would have been finished, or at least nearing completion, when the world's current state of affairs took over. The entertainment industry has been shut down since March, which means that the sequel would have been shelved until later this year or possibly next. This also means that the Black Widow standalone movie would have more than likely originally had the Eternals November release date.
Production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was supposed to start in early 2019. Sets were already being built and production start was already scheduled when James Gunn was abruptly let go. For months, there were rumors that another director was going to step in and take his place in an effort to get the sequel released on time. However, those rumors were laid to rest when the studio told the crew that they were done until further notice.
In the time since James Gunn's firing and rehiring, Disney and Marvel Studios revealed that they were never looking into other directors to helm Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn is currently in the post-production process for The Suicide Squad and he's very happy with the story he came up with. Luckily, he has been able to edit from home and assures DC fans that the movie is still on target for its release date next summer. A lot can change between now and then, but for now, it looks like the movie should be fine. As for when we'll see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, that's a different question entirely. You can check out James Gunn's Twitter reveal about the sequel's original release date above.