Warning. SPOILERS included for Avengers: Endgame. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was supposed to already be shooting, and the end of Avengers: Endgame indicates that Chris Hemsworth would have been a part of the cast. That all fell apart when Disney and Marvel fired director James Gunn. They changed their decision and rehired the director earlier this year, with the production start date having already past. And Gunn has moved onto another job. So what does that ultimately mean for the sci-fi sequel?
In a new report regarding Robert Downey Jr.'s massive possible $75 million haul for backend off Avengers: Endgame, a Guardians 3 production start date is buried at the bottom. It states that Marvel and Disney are planning to have James Gunn back on set with his cast and crew sometime in 2020. An exact date is not mentioned at this time. But that should put the movie in theaters sometime in 2021, or more realistically 2022, as part of Marvel's as yet unannounced Phase 4 lineup.
James Gunn has already written a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 script, though it is expected that he will be making some changes to it. Going off the end of Avengers: Endgame, the sequel will pick up with Thor having joined the team, as they go searching for Gamora, who lost her life to the soul stone. According to everyone involved with Endgame at this time, those who are lost to Vormir can never return. Black Widow died on Vormir as well, so it will be interesting to see how this is all handled.
James Gunn can't jump back into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 right away. During the time that he was away from Disney, he took a job with Warner Bros. and DC Films to write and direct a quasi-sequel/reboot to Suicide Squad which will now be called The Suicide Squad. So far, Idris Elba is signed to star in the movie. He was once going to take over the role of Deadshot from Will Smith, but late in the script game, they decided to change that, allowing Will Smith's version to still exist in the DCEU, with Elba now playing an undisclosed DC villain from the comics. David Dastmalchian is also signed to play the villain Polka-Dot, one of the lesser known DC characters who has only made 13 appearances over the past handful of decades.
The Suicide Squad will begin shooting this September in Atlanta and will be in theaters August 6, 2021. So it's incredibly likely that Gunn will finish Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 right as he is set to go on the press tour for DC, which will make for some hugely interesting conversations to be sure. James Gunn also has the superhero horror movie Brightburn coming in May, which he co-created and produced with David Yarovesky directing. As of now, no solid Guardians 3 plot details have been announced. This production start date was original published by The Hollywood Reporter.