According to a new production listing, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which went on indefinite hold after the dismissal of director James Gunn, may now be on track for a 2022 release. While the film was never officially announced by Disney, it was slated to begin production in Atlanta early next year and hit theaters in May of 2020.
The latest issue of Production Weekly shows that Vol. 3, under the working title ‘HOT CHRISTMAS’, is set to begin production in February of 2021, a full 2 years after initially scheduled. Marvel Studios has been interviewing directors in the wake of Gunn’s departure and we were recently told that while they had settled on someone to take the helm, no deal had been made. If this report is accurate, it’s possible that Kevin Feige and his team have come to an agreement with a director and the February 2021 date marks the first opening on that schedule. Alternately, they may still be looking for a director but feel comfortable that they’ll find one in the next two years. In the past, Marvel Studios has usually hired a director one year ahead of the start of production, so if they are still looking, they have plenty of time even by their own standards.
Marvel Studios has not officially announced any films beyond 2019, but have slotted the following dates over the next several years:
- May 1
- July 31
- November 6
- February 12, 2021
- May 7, 2021
- November 5, 2021
- February 18, 2022
- May 6, 2022
- July 29, 2022
Though they haven’t been announced by the studio, it’s widely believed that Black Widow, The Eternals and possibly a Doctor Strange sequel will fill the 2020 slots. The recent news that Ryan Coogler had signed on to write and direct a Black Panther sequel that would go into production in late 2019 or early 2020 has led to speculation that it might hit theaters on February 12, 2021. And if this latest report is accurate, Vol. 3 might be aiming for a May 6, 2022 release. Given the heavy VFX work done on the previous films, the studio does seem to allow for a bit more time in post production.
Stay tuned to That Hashtag Show for more on this story as it develops.