After turning a D-list superhero team into a massive franchise with Guardians of the Galaxy, writer-director James Gunn earned a ton of creative freedom when it came to shaping his cosmic corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Despite his level of clout, however, some narrative choices are simply out of the filmmaker's control, like Gamora's death at the hands of her father Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Answering fan questions on Twitter this week, Gunn admitted that killing off Zoe Saldana's character wasn't always part of his Guardians master plan. "I definitely didn’t always plan on it," he wrote. "But I was consulted before it was set in stone, so it wasn’t completely out of my control either. It’s probably my favorite scene in Infinity War."
Other notable studio mandates included a scene of Josh Brolin's Thanos and The Collector's monologue about the origin of the Infinity Stones. These, of course, were requirements for Vol. 1 when Gunn was still on the up-and-up. His star has risen incredibly fast since that time, as evidenced by the fact that he served as an executive producer on both Infinity War and Endgame, which means that at the very least, he knew where the Guardians would end up once the Infinity Saga was over.
In fact, Gunn's tear-jerking screenplay for Vol. 3, which he'll eventually direct, has been finished for quite some time. Now, we don't know if it'll feature the time-traveling version of Gamora from Endgame, especially since the filmmaker isn't a fan of bringing back dead heroes. He tweeted that Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) are definitely coming back. Notice that he left Gamora and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) off the list.
Guardians of the Galaxy's trilogy capper is still a ways away since Gunn is currently up in Canada shooting Peacemaker for HBO Max.
The Suicide Squad spinoff series is using Vancouver as a stand-in for the Pacific Northwest. "It fits location-wise," tweeted Gunn. "But the primary reasons is they’ve been better at managing COVID up here, so it’s safer for the cast and crew." Peacemaker doesn't have a premiere date just yet, but star John Cena has stated that it'll debut soon after The Suicide Squad arrives this August.