James Gunn Wrestles with Changing Canon for Guardians Vol. 3

Even before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened in theaters a few weeks ago, James Gunn was already attached to write and direct a follow-up to conclude the trilogy and even revealed he had already begun writing the sequel. Speaking at the World Building panel (via Cinema Blend) at this year’s E3, Gunn opened up about his progress and a change he’s considering making for a story he wants to tell.

“I’m writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and I finished the first draft of the treatment yesterday, which I’m excited about it and I feel really great about it. But there’s one little thing that I had in the first movie… Now, Marvel, MCU canon is crazy and I’ll get super geeky for two seconds. There’s the 616 universe which is the Marvel Comics Universe, which people get hung up on that canon, and then there’s the MCU, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has a separate canon which is inspired by but not exactly the same as the 616. I did something in the first movie of Guardians where it was in the background but it was distinctly there, and people know that it’s there. And I’m like goddammit because I have a really good storytelling reason for breaking the canon, and I stayed up last night figuring out if I’m gonna do it or not. I still don’t know.”

When pressed, by none other than talking tree-opponent Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gunn revealed the detail stems from details in the background of the first film.

“I’ll actually tell you. In the first movie there is the mugshot sequence where the characters go through and they’re going through the mugshots and having their picture taken and the Nova Corps has information about each of the characters coming up on their little machinery. Now, those things are something that your average viewer doesn’t see at all and doesn’t read, but there’s a lot of background I put into those things about who they’ve worked with, where they’re from, what’s going on. And it’s one of those things that I’m thinking about changing.”

Within the context of the scene Gunn mentioned, there are a couple of different things detailed about the characters, such as specifics about their different augmentations, but only a few things that seem like they would keep Gunn up at night. Some of those potential details include: Gamora as “last survivor of the Zehoberei People,” Rocket’s origin on Halfworld and his association with “Lylla” (both of which are from the pages of Marvel comics), or potentially Groot’s origin of X (a reference to his Planet X origin in the comics) and his own association with an unknown “Tibius Lark.” We’re not sure which of these (or another unnamed piece of info) Gunn is wrestling with and we’ll likely have to wait until 2020 for the answer.

You can watch Gunn’s answer yourself in the player below, beginning at the 2:13:35 mark.