In returning to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn has been given the opportunity to complete the trilogy which he launched in 2014 showcasing broken characters who form a family and grow together. In many ways, Gunn has similarities to these characters and their respective ups and downs through life, especially recently. The director was let go from the film after decade-old tweets and jokes came back to haunt him but was given a second chance when Disney re-hired him -- which he will use to complete the arc of Rocket Raccoon.
In a recent interview, Gunn finally opened up about the experience of losing the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise before getting another shot at it. In discussing the upcoming film, he promised one particular character which he has a lot in common with will see the most complete arc of all.
"When you asked me what was saddest for me when I thought it was gone—and anybody at Marvel can tell you—it's this very strange and attached relationship to Rocket," Gunn told Deadline. "Rocket is me, he really is, even if that sounds narcissistic. Groot is like my dog. I love Groot in a completely different way. I relate to Rocket and I feel compassion for Rocket, but I also feel like his story has not been completed. He has an arc that started in the first movie, continued into the second and goes through Infinity War and Endgame, and then I was set to really finish that arc in Guardians 3. That was a big loss to me—not being able to finish that story—though I was comforted by the fact that they were still planning to use my script."
Rocket Raccoon started the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as a bounty hunting loner who relied on his friend Groot to get by. In the time which has passed, Rocket has learned to let other characters in and form a family with the Guardians of the Galaxy characters along with others such as Captain Marvel and the Avengers heroes like Thor along the way. Given Rocket and Thor's shared misery in the five-year gap which saw half of the universe's population dead, the character is given a new lease on that familial life going forward. How will it pay off in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Well, James Gunn will show us in a couple of years.
In the mean time, Gunn is praising Rocket Raccoon voice actor Bradley Cooper's recent Oscar-nominated work on A Star Is Born. "I loved that movie," Gunn said. "I saw Bradley Cooper recently. I said, 'I remember when you were showing me videos of Lady Gaga singing,' when he was first prepping the movie. You go, OK, here's this actor who's going to go direct this movie with Lady Gaga… I was excited for Bradley, but nervous. I've had a lot of friends who've directed movies and nine times out of 10 it does not go that well. What an incredible accomplishment that was for a first-time director."
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does not yet have an official release date but is expected in May of 2021.