In what in some ways was a bit of an anti-climactic announcement at the end of their panel at San Diego Comic Con, Marvel Studios stated that they would be releasing Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 on July 28, 2017. James Gunn, who directed and co-wrote the first film, will be handling those duties for the sequel.
Yes, I’m writing and directing the sequel to #GuardiansoftheGalaxy for theaters July 28 2017. But first go see the first one out next week!
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 27, 2014
And yes, as you can tell from Gunn’s tweet, the first film hits theaters next Friday. So in a sense, even though the film is already getting strong word of mouth out of early critics screenings, Marvel is taking a big chance on the movie being a hit. Of course, for those of us tracking how Marvel’s interconnected superhero films are playing out, an interstellar adventure like a Guardians sequel could very well be a necessary component if the inevitable Avengers 3 is going to feature the superhero tea going up the intergalactic despot Thanos, who has already made an appearance at the tail end of the first Avengers film.
That Gunn was going to be taking the reins on the sequel is a much lesser surprise as the original writer on Guardians, Nicole Perlman, mentioned that he would be yesterday.
The announcement is a bit odd as Marvel has jumped over two of their announced release dates – July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017 – to announce this title. What titles will get filled in on those two dates? Well, we’re still thinking that July 8, 2016 is going to a Doctor Strange movie and the only reason that Marvel didn’t announce it today is that they are still in negotiations with Joaquim Phoenix to take the lead of that film. Perhaps we’ll get an announcement at New York Comic Con in October?