In the early 2010s Kevin Feige rolled the dice on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. He handed the reigns of the IP (and ultimately the entire cosmic corner of the MCU) to James Gunn, a man with a powerful connection to science fiction and the type of outcasts that comprise the Guardians and hoped for the best. It wasn’t long before Gunn and Feige knew they had a hit on their hands. Before the release of the first film, a sequel was announced and the first film was a runaway success both critically and financially. People absolutely loved the “a-holes”, to the tune of a $94+ million dollar domestic opening weekend and over $770 million globally over its run, and wanted more and eventually a firm date of May 5, 2017 was set.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened in the U.S. last weekend to a $146.5 million and, after a huge Monday take, is up over $156 million domestically and $44o million globally, as of the writing of this piece. Fans obviously love the second installment and early buzz was enough to secure a third volume before this film was even released. On April 17, 2017, Gunn officially confirmed his involvement in a third film, which is likely to hit on May 1, 2020 (though that that date is by no means confirmed). Gunn has already begun writing the film and says he has a firm idea of where it will go. He has explained that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the denouement for this version of the team and finish what will be seen as one, unified story across 3 films. We also know that Gamora will have an expanded role and that it’s very likely Adam Warlock will make his debut. Beyond that, we are left to our own devices to imagine what types of things we might see in the final film of the trilogy and that’s ok because we like to speculate! We’ve done it for Ant-Man and The Wasp, we’ve done it for Doctor Strange and, in a past life, it was even done for Vol. 2! And so we thought we might as well give it a go and think about some things we would like to see when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters in 2020!
Major Cosmic Abstracts and Entities
We’ve seen Celestials. We’ve seen Watchers. We’ve seen Elders. We’ve seen gods. We’d like James Gunn to keep going. If we can see all those things, is it too hard to believe that we could see something like Eon (how cool would that be?)? I want to see The Beyonder. I would love for Gunn to go full cosmic, pull the camera back and reveal entities like Eternity, Infinity, Oblivion and Death. Show me Master Order and Lord Chaos, James! For crying out loud, make the next conflict so big the the Living Tribunal has to get involved.
What about the Eternals? IF they’re something Marvel Studios has the rights to, maybe the could come into play somehow. Ego did have a lot of children, maybe Quill has a brother or sister out there that Ego missed. That would make for an interesting arc in Quill’s journey. If there’s one thing I have learned about Gunn and his work on these films it’s that he’s willing to make some monumental changes to characters comic book back stories if he thinks it will serve his narrative. Maybe I should quit guessing.
This is probably cheating because Gunn has said Adam was originally written into Vol. 2 and it’s pretty likely that we will see the golden weirdo in Vol. 3 given the appearance of his “birthing pod” while the credits to Vol. 2 were rolling. We know that Ayesha intends Adam to be the Sovereign’s tool of vengeance on the Guardians, but we don’t know exactly what the next evolution of the race might be or exactly what powers he might have. The Sovereign, for all their genetic perfection, didn’t seem to have any actual powers. In the comics, Adam rebelled against his creators and carved out his own course, eventually becoming a being so powerful he stood outside of reality itself. We have no idea what Gunn has in store for Adam, but it’s beginning to seem highly unlikely we’ll see much of his comic book past carry over to the movies. IF there’s one thing I hope that Gunn does latch on to, it’s this guy…
The High Evolutionary
If there’s a weird ass mad scientist running around the galaxy, I want it to be The High Evolutionary and I want James Gunn to be the guy in charge of bringing him to life. He was one of the first beings that Adam Warlock came across in the comics and he’s had a long and strange history that mostly involves trying to perfect life. While I think any cinematic interpretation of the character would be altered significantly (like maybe he isn’t a human who has created a Counter-Earth), I could still see Gunn messing around with some really funky Island of Doctor Moreau themes and having a hell of a good time. In fact, the Doctor Moreau vibe could really make for an interesting twist on the High Evolutionary; in fact, you could probably have had him start his work on a planet called Halfworld, the planet where our favorite angry raccoon had his origins.
We seemingly have a pretty complete understanding of Peter Quill’s personal history. We know Gamora and Nebula were raised by Thanos to be assassins. We know all about Drax’s personal tragedy (though I hope that we don’t know it all just yet). We don’t know much at all about where Groot came from and we only have bits and pieces of the personal histories of Rocket and Mantis. I hope that at least some of this film explores these characters a little more and I think, if they want to fill in some gaps in Rocket’s story, blending the history of Halfworld and the story of the High Evolutionary would be very satisfying.
In the comics, Halfworld was a very strange place where genetically altered animals were placed in charge of a colony of forgotten mental patients. In the MCU, we know that Rocket came from Halfworld (thanks to the scene of him getting processed in Vol. 1) and that he was experimented on and tortured to become the thing that he is. Weaving more of his past into the central plot of the movie would only be giving him the same kind of service given to Star-Lord over the first two films and would probably be well-received by the audience given how much everyone loves Rocket.
A Reunion for Drax
While we know more about Drax than we do Rocket and Groot, we really hope we haven’t heard the last of his family. We know that Ronan killed his wife, who doesn’t like to dance, and daughter, who he once took to some beautiful lakes. We know because of this Drax sought revenge on Ronan and now seeks to kill Thanos. That’s alright and it gives Drax all the motivation we need to see him have to become the Destroyer. However, fans of the comics know that the story of his daughter didn’t end the night he believed her to have been killed and we think she would make for an incredible addition to the story of the Guardians and to the Cosmic corner of the MCU.
In the comics, Drax’s daughter, Heather, was saved from her death (at the hands of Thanos) by Mentor, the father of the Mad Titan. She was then trained by Shao-Lorn monks to become a weapon in the fight against Thanos. Taking the name of Moondragon, after the name of the Cosmic entity that once possessed her, she became a powerful psychic and a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The MCU version of Heather is named Kamaria, a name which means “like the moon” in Swahili, so it is possible that Gunn has planned on her return since he wrote the script for Vol. 1.
Development for Mantis
We’ve been told to expect Mantis people, the Cotati, to appear in Thor: Ragnarok as a part of the Cosmic road trip taken by Thor and Banner. We won’t know if they made the final cut of the film until November, but we have seen some collaborative efforts between Gunn and Thor director Taika Waititi already (Kronans appeared during Vol. 2 and Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster appeared in the credits), so it wouldn’t be crazy to think that the MCU version of Mantis’ people might show up.
A little more of Mantis’ background would go a long way right now because as it stands it sounds an awful lot like Ego may have stolen her. I know she said she was orphaned, but I don’t think we can believe Ego had any altruistic motives in mind when he picked her up from where ever it was. For all we know, she might be another one of his children but since she was able to display some impressive powers, he kept her around. We have no idea what Gunn has in mind for Mantis, but she’s had some pretty big arcs in the comics and I’m guessing almost everyone fell in love with Pom Klementieff in Vol. 2 and would love to see her have more to do.
A Powered Up Nova Corps
This is towards the bottom of the list, but not my order of importance. The Xandarians have had their hands on the Power Stone since the conclusion of Vol. 1 and ever since it got locked away at Nova HQ I’ve had two thoughts:
1) That’s the end of Xandar whenever Thanos comes looking.
2) Oh good, they can find a way to use the Stone to turn them into a powered up group of space cops.
While I think that Avengers: Infinity War probably represents a fine time to introduce a powered up Nova Corps (who wouldn’t want to see John C. Reilly return and be capable of flying and shooting energy blasts?), I also think that the Nova Corps really should be a staple of whatever Cosmic universe Gunn and Feige settle upon. You think the idea of the Worldmind is weird? Gunn already introduced Mainframe, which was a talking head that ran an entire planet. As weird as stuff is already, the Nova Corps displaying some powers doesn’t seem all that crazy.
Stakar and the Ravager Captains
Gunn has said he’s already trying to figure out how to bring these guys back and it’s easy to imagine that hardcore comic fans will love every second of screen time they get. Thought they seem to inhabit a different niche than their comic book counterparts, the collection of actors assembled to play the Ravager captains makes their further adventures, whatever they may be, very interesting. These original Guardians are, at least in part, the members of the group from Gunn’s childhood and he’s mentioned on more than one occasion that Starhawk/Stakar is one of his favorites. Hopefully his love for the characters will help them grow into a more significant role and allow us to see them display some of their prowess. For instance, who wouldn’t want to watch a super-strong Ving Rhames hurling things around like the Hulk? These guys will be back and we cannot wait!
Vance Astro/Major Victory
Only because we want to see a superhero from the future brandishing Captain America’s shield from his timeline.
What characters and stories would you like to see explored in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Let us know in the comments. We love reading them and seeing where your heads are with the future of these films!