James Gunn has confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will start shooting later this year. After wrapping up filming on The Suicide Squad, Gunn has been busy lately with the production of the spinoff series Peacemaker with John Cena. Once Peacemaker is in the can, Gunn will be gearing up for his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to start shooting the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.

On his Instagram stories, James Gunn participated in a Q&A with fans, answering a slew of questions on a variety of topics. One fan asked bluntly if Gunn knew when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was going to start production. To that, Gunn replied with a simple, "Shooting starts later this year."

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to be released in 2023, but we'll be Star-Lord and the others sooner than that. Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Sean Gunn were present on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder in Australia to film a special appearance from the Guardians on the Marvel sequel. That movie will be released in 2022, but Gunn also revealed in his Q&A that he's coordinated with Thor 4 director Taika Waititi to help set up the Guardians' return.

"Yes, as I've said before, Taika read the Vol 3 script before writing Love & Thunder, and we discussed in depth what was going on with the Guardians," Gunn wrote.

Meanwhile, Gunn is also bringing back the Guardians for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is set to premiere in late 2022. Filming will occur during the production of Vol. 3 with the entire main cast returning. Gunn will also be writing and directing the holiday special, which will be set between the second and third Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Along with their appearance in Thor 4, this will help set up the group's return in their next sequel.

Originally, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been scheduled for a 2020 release with Gunn writing and directing the sequel. Plans changed in 2018 when Disney severed all ties with Gunn based on controversial jokes posted to his Twitter account many years prior. Production was put on hold with Gunn out of the picture, though there was still talk at Disney about using his screenplay. With the entire cast supporting Gunn and with Marvel fans calling for his return, Disney reversed course and brought Gunn back into the production in 2019.

While Gunn was on his own, Warner Bros. scooped him up to write and direct his own take on The Suicide Squad, which will be released on Aug. 6, 2021. A spinoff series starring John Cena as Peacemaker is also in the works to debut on HBO Max in January 2022. An official release date hasn't yet been set for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but the plan at this time is for the sequel to be released sometime in 2021. This news comes to us from James Gunn on Instagram.