It's been seven years since Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy first premiered and writer/director James Gunn took to social media to pay a special tribute to the anniversary. Gunn posted an image of him with stars. Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, and Chris Pratt at one of the many events for the film. "Holy cow," Gunn write. "#GuardiansoftheGalaxy opened 7 years ago today. Amazing." Gunn and company returned for the 2017 sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and will reunite once again for the Vol. 3 which is scheduled to release on May 5, 2023 with a Disney+ "Holiday Special" arriving just before.
In the time between the first and second Guardians movies, Marvel Studios produced and released just four other movies (Avengers: Age of Ultron to Doctor Strange) but the six year gap between the second and third film will be a good example of how much the MCU has expanded over the years. Since 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Marvel Studios has released nine more movies and three TV shows to date, with eight other movies scheduled to be released and at least five more TV series in the works that will debut beforehand. Pending any other delays on the Disney release schedule there could also be even more.
Reflections on Guardian's release and the time before have been somewhat common in recent days with Dave Bautista revealing that ahead of his time on the Marvel movie he was broke. "When I got the role of Drax in Guardians, I barely worked in three years," Bautista told IGN recently. "Then when I got [cast], not only because I was broke, [everything changed]. When I say broke, my house was foreclosed, I had nothing, man. I sold all my stuff. I sold everything that I made from [when] I was wrestling. I had issues with the IRS. I was just lost in everything. So Drax didn't just change my career. It literally changed the trajectory of my life. My life just got better and I just became more successful."
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies are now streaming on Disney+ while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is due to hit theaters May 5, 2023. I Am Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special have yet to receive release dates.