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Guardians of the Galaxy 3 was pretty M.I.A. at Marvel's Comic-Con panel: James Gunn explains why

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Jul 21, 2019, 2:46 PM EDT

There was a lot of news at Marvel's panel at Comic-Con on Saturday evening in San Diego. A lot. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed plans for the next phase of MCU movies and TV shows, as well as teasing other projects, like a reboot of the vampire hunter Blade. But one property that didn't get anything more than a mention was the next installment in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

Feige did confirm that a third movie is in the works, but he offered no details or timeline. (He was similarly brief about confirmed sequels to Black Panther and Captain Marvel.)

Guardians director James Gunn took to Twitter after the panel to explain the lack of intel.

"Sorry to disappoint," he wrote in response to a self-described "impatient" fan. "Guardians Vol. 3 IS happening, but I am finishing The Suicide Squad first."

After most of the Guardians survived the battle with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, they will return for Vol. 3, presumably sometime after one of the later films Feige announced for Phase 4 of the MCU, Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set for a November 2021 release.

Gunn, who directed the first two Guardians movies, was famously fired from the project last summer after some crude tweets he'd posted years ago resurfaced. He was ultimately rehired by Disney in March, but in the interim period he was tapped by Warner Bros. to helm a Suicide Squad movie, a new take on the team of DC Comics villains. (The Squad's first attempt at cinematic glory in 2016 was widely considered a dud both creatively and commercially.)

The third Guardians film is likely to include Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who was seen flying off with the team at the conclusion of Endgame. The Norse god had amusing chemistry with the core group in the last two Avengers movies, including Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). Gamora (Zoe Saldana) was killed in Infinity War, only to return in another version during Endgame's Time Heist. The saga's timeline manipulation has left open plenty of options for alternate versions of characters.

Among the biggest news out of Marvel's panel was the confirmation that Black Widow's solo film is coming next year, the arrival of the mystical Eternals, the casting of Simu Liu as the star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and the news that two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will headline the new incarnation of vampire hunter Blade.

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.