After the events of Avengers: Infinity War led to the apparent deaths of many popular heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have comforted themselves with the fact that some characters -- namely Guardians of the Galaxy -- have additional films on the horizon. Surely that means characters such Star-Lord somehow manage to survive, right?
Think again. Chris Pratt told MTV on the red carpet for tonight's MTV Movie and TV Awards that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might take place before Avengers: Infinity War, not after, though he did a fair bit of joking about what the film might look like before offering that tidbit.
"They've cast the Blue Man Group," Pratt said when asked about the film. "Yeah, it's going to be all Blue Man Group. I'm not supposed to say anything, oh no now everyone's going to be all mad! It's the Blue Man Group. It's an Andy Griffith hologram, yeah, they're the new Guardians. It's gonna be amazing."
Pratt's jokes about a Blue Man Group and Andy Griffith hologram team up were just that, jokes, but that didn't stop MTV from trying to find out the real deal about the movie. When asked about how mourning Gamora might play out, Pratt was quick to point out that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might not take place after Infinity War after all.
"You don't know," he said. "It might take place in the past. It might be a prequel."
This actually isn't the first time the idea that upcoming films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe might go back in time rather than stay on a forward-moving timeline. Captain Marvel we already know will take place well before Avengers: Infinity war, but in a recent interview with Huffington Post, Infinity War directors the Russo Brothers themselves said that things may not be linear here on out in the MCU.
"Here's the thing, I think it's important to remember anything is possible in the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe]," Anthony Russo said. "Just because there's a sequel on the books doesn't mean ... people become accustomed to time moving linearly in the MCU. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case. There's a lot of very inventive ways of where the story can go from here"
Joe Russo elaborated even further.
"There's four years between Guardians 2 and Infinity War. That's a long time, and a lot of Guardians stories to tell. Again, as Anthony said, don't expect everything to move forward in a linear fashion in the Marvel universe."
However, even with Pratt's comments and the Russo's thoughts about non-linear progression in the MCU, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to hit theaters in 2020 -- a year after Avengers 4. Even if the film is set in the past by then we will in theory have an idea of the fate of the characters, something that makes the idea of a prequel-style Guardians installment seem curious at best. One thing is for sure, though, and that's that fans will just have to wait and see what's in store when the Guardians take the big screen again.
Avengers: Infinity War is now playing in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel opens on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.