The Guardians of the Galaxy Almost Had a Bigger Role in Thor: Love and Thunder

The Guardians won't return to theaters until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023, but the "Asgardians of the Galaxy" almost made another appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder. After Thor (Chris Hemsworth) teamed up with the crew of intergalactic outlaws in Avengers: Infinity War, the space viking joined the Guardians for a cosmic adventure aboard the Benatar to end Avengers: Endgame. But when Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) vows the extinction of the gods, triggering distress calls across the galaxy, Thor parts ways with his "ragtag motley crew of misfit desperados": Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Kraglin (Sean Gunn), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper). 

In an interview with Insider, director Taika Waititi revealed Marvel Studios weighed whether to have the Guardians return later in Thor: Love and Thunder. After their exit from the movie, Thor joins forces with ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), now wielding Mjolnir as the Mighty Thor, to stop Gorr from reaching the gate of Eternity to wish for a godless universe.  

"The plan was always to have them in the beginning and then move on. Because they have their own movie," Waititi said of director James Gunn's Guardians Vol. 3. "There was talk about having them come back at the end." 

Waititi continued, "The thing is that happens in every movie. No more. No more of the cavalry coming at the end. So we shelved that idea. We just wanted Jane to come in at the end." 

While Gunn and Waititi consulted each other's scripts for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Thor: Love and Thunder — both set post-Endgame — Gunn revealed he only "asked for some things to be adjusted" in the script Waititi co-wrote with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. 

"@TaikaWaititi is doing a great job – the script is amazing," Gunn tweeted last year. "We talked before he started writing [Thor 4] about where the characters are & where they're going & he read the script for Vol. 3 & then I read his script & shared my thoughts." 

The Guardians will return later this year in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, an all-new television special written and directed by Gunn for Disney+, before searching for Gamora (Zoe Saldana) when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, 2023.  

Starring Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Taika Waititi as Korg, Russell Crowe as Zeus, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, and Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in theaters.