Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Dave Bautista Hints Story Plans Have Changed

Marvel fans learned a whole lot of news this week during Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige's presentation on Disney Investor Day, including the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to be released in 2023. Fans were also treated to the surprise that James Gunn will be directing a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which will debut in 2022. Folks have been wondering what's next for the Guardians after they set off with Thor at the end of Avengers: Endgame. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dave Bautista (Drax) has revealed some story changes are being made due to the many schedule changes caused by the pandemic.

"I believe it's okay to say that we will go into production late next year," Bautista shared. "I saw a script early on when we were all on schedule and James Gunn was attached before everything went nutso. I believe because [Marvel's] whole calendar has changed [due to the pandemic shutdown and Guardians' production delays], that storylines have changed, and they won't intersect like originally planned. Obviously, we lost Chadwick [Boseman], so I don't know where that leaves Black Panther. I haven't seen a new script, is the short answer."

As for the fate of Black Panther, Feige also announced during the live stream that they have no plans to recast the role of T'Challa now that Boseman has passed away. "Black Panther 2, opening July 8, 2022, is being written & directed by Ryan Coogler. Honoring Chadwick Boseman's legacy & portrayal of T'Challa, @MarvelStudios will not recast the character but will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film," Disney wrote on Twitter.

As for the Guardians, Gunn recently revealed that the "script is written and most of the production heads have been hired." Considering that statement only came last month, it's unclear if it includes the revisions Bautista was referring to.

"I think it'll be in the next couple of years, but I've read Vol. 3 and I think it's the best of the trilogy," Karen Gillan (Nebula) told THR last year. "I know that we're all really excited to have James Gunn back as our fearless leader. So we're all just really looking forward to getting back together."

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Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are both currently available to stream on Disney+. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to be released in 2023.