There are still ten days to go before the second 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie opens in cinemas – but already it's been announced that a third film is definitely on the way, and once again it will be written and directed by James Gunn, the man who has made this strand of the Marvel Comics superhero stories such a fans' favourite.
Posting directly on Facebook, Gunn explained how it had taken him 'many months of ruminations and discussions' before he decided that he wanted to take charge of 'Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3' – which will continue the tale of this eccentric bunch of space-travelling warriors.
The first 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie was a box-office and audience smash in 2014, earning a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes and taking almost eight hundred million dollars worldwide. So it was little surprise when a second movie was announced, and it was already assumed that a third movie would follow shortly.
But until now Gunn has held back from confirming that he'd be involved. He writes that he's well aware of overstaying your welcome in Hollywood.
'There is a history… of haphazard endings to trilogies, and I didn't want to become a part of that dishonorable [sic] tradition of pretending the third one doesn't exist. I couldn't do it for the money… I needed to do it because it was what I needed to do.'
'In the end, my love for Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Star-Lord, Yondu, Mantis, Drax, and Nebula – and some of the other forthcoming heroes – goes deeper than you guys can possibly imagine, and I feel they have more adventures to go on and things to learn about themselves.'
Gunn also revealed that the third movie will be the last, writing that it will 'conclude the story of this iteration…and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond.'
'Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2' opens in UK cinemas on Friday April 28. The third and final film should be expected in either 2019 or 2020.