Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn has rekindled hope for his return for a Vol. 4, though remains steadfast in his assertion that the upcoming sequel will be the end of the arc he has planned from the first movie. Gunn recently revealed that he plans for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but his recent comments on the subject will no doubt have MCU fans crossing their fingers for further superbly well soundtracked intergalactic adventures.

"Never say never but I see Vol 3 as the end of the Guardians' story I started telling back with Vol 1.," Gunn replied when asked if he would direct a fourth movie should he ever get the chance. Gunn's "never say never" approach to the idea of helming volume 4 comes not too long after revealing that he plans for the upcoming threequel to be his final outing. "I'm planning on it being my last," James Gunn said on social media when asked if he planned to go beyond volume 3.

RELATED: James Gunn Confirms Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Has Not Been Delayed

Whether Gunn returns or not for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 remains to be seen, but it is starting to sound increasingly likely that the third movie will be the last we see of Dave Bautista's Drax. After revealing details of a mooted Drax & Mantis movie, the actor stated that he had no further contractual obligations at Marvel Studios saying, "I mean, as far as my obligations, I've got Guardians 3, and that's probably going to be the end of Drax."

Gunn has now followed this up stating that "There's no Drax for me without you, buddy! You ARE the MCU's Drax the Destroyer and, as far as I'm concerned, could never be replaced." So, while Gunn could be persuaded to return, it certainly sounds like there will be no Drax beyond Bautista, which frankly is at it should be.

While details of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 remain under lock and key in the Marvel vault, Gunn has disclosed some insight, including that he did not have to make any adjustments to the movie pertaining the various delays. "No, not much. Most of the tweaks have been creative choices," he said. "The Guardians' path has been set for a long time."

Gunn has previously revealed some clues as the direction of the story, stating that it will heavily involve Bradley Cooper's Rocket Racoon. "I'll just say Rocket is a big part of what's happening in the future - and a lot of this stuff (like the scars we're about to see on his back) sets up what I've been planning for Rocket all along," the director revealed last year. Gunn went on to proide some more insight into the hero a little while later, saying that Rocket's loneliness is not just central to the character, but to the entire Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. "Part of the cybernetics apparently painfully placed in his body. One of my favorite moments in the movie. Rocket's loneliness and disaffection is at the center of the franchise for me," Gunn said.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was recently given a summer release date of May 5, 2023, courtesy of Marvel Studios' Phase 4 sizzle reel, which teased all manner of things to come including footage from Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as well as revealing the official titles for the Black Panther and Captain Marvel sequels which are Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Marvels respectively.