‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Pre-Production Starts Very Soon

Pre-production on Marvel StudiosGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 starts “very, very soon,” says producer Kevin Feige.

Writer-director James Gunn “has delivered a draft and we begin official pre-production on that very, very soon,” Feige told Collider, adding Vol. 3 will be “shooting early next year.”

Captain Marvel finishes in about two weeks, Spider-Man [Far From Home] starts in about two weeks, and then Guardians 3 will start early next year,” Feige said.

Despite the apparent deaths of all of the Guardians of the Galaxy at the hands of Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War save for Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt and Drax actor Dave Bautista have already confirmed their returns.

Guardians leading man Chris Pratt told MTV earlier this month he’ll reprise his role as Star-Lord in Vol. 3 when the project starts filming in January, and Bautista told Collider he’ll return in both Avengers 4 and Vol. 3.

“I got a lot of texts saying, ‘I can't believe you're dead, your character is dead,’” Bautista said. “They were really like heartbroken and I was like, ‘I’m gonna be in [Avengers 4]. I'm gonna be in Guardians 3.’ I don't know how they're bringing me back, yeah, but somehow I'm going to make it because, as far as I know, I am going to be in Guardians 3, so I have to be back.”

Despite Pratt teasing Vol. 3 could “take place in the past” or be a prequel — its events occurring before Infinity War — Gunn is already on the record confirming the movie takes place after the two-part Avengers movies.

“It's very, very, very different,” Gunn teased of Vol. 3. “Very different, but I won't say how! You'll have to wait to see the movie, it's a long time away.”

The trilogy closer will be the last to feature this specific iteration of the Guardians — Pratt’s Star-Lord, Bautista’s Drax, Cooper’s Rocket, Pom Klementieff’s Mantis, Vin Diesel’s Groot, and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora — and could mark Gunn’s own end with Marvel Studios.

“We know that Guardians Vol. 3 is the end of this group of Guardians. So, that's that,” Gunn said on Facebook Live.

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“I don't know what I'm going to do if I'm going to stick around at Marvel, if I'm going to do something else, I don't know where I'm going to go. I haven't decided yet.”

Marvel Studios has not yet announced a release date for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but the film will likely release May 1, 2020 — one of three 2020 dates staked out by Disney-Marvel that year.