February 6, 2014
RUMOR: Marvel Gearing-Up For GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 In 2016?
Marvel has been more unofficial about their plans for Phase Three, than previous ones but will start things off with Edgar Wright's Ant-Man (starring Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Michael Pena, Clifton Collins Jr. and possibly Evangeline Lilly). There has been a lot of chatter from Marvel's Kevin Feige about his passion project Doc Strange finally getting made, while a director and lead haven't been announced. Recent development on sequels to Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, also give the impression those movies are going to be apart of the Phase Three plans.
JoBlo is tossing a monkey into the works, stating a rumor that could see a sequel to James Gunn's Guardians of The Galaxy invade theatres on May 6th, 2016. Oddly enough, that's the same date Warner Bros. has set for Batman Vs Superman, previously releasing in the same month as Ant-Man. Although, Marvel had claimed the spot ages ago and likely won't be bullied (since Disney is now backing them) if they announce the actual project for the release slot. Joblo even says treat it as a rumor, this is the first time we've caught wind of Guardians of The Galaxy 2. As it stands, Marvel has only announced three spots for 2016-2017, the only way to make room for something like Doc Strange, would be to add a second date for 2017. It's assumed that Avengers 3 would be saved for a 2018 release.
Having a trilogy of Guardians films wouldn't be a terrible thing, and it looks like Marvel might be giving each franchise a trilogy (Iron Man, Captain America and Thor). Expanding the cosmic side of the MCU seems to be the overall plan at the studio, we've already noticed a lowkey push to add Easter Eggs referencing a Planet Hulk movie (looking more likely for Phase Four, if it happens). The great thing about The Guardians is that the team roster changes all the time, there are plenty of new members that they could switch-in or add-on. Characters like Adam Warlock (already teased in a button scene), Nova, Quasar, Angela (new addition to Marvel cosmic lineup), and even the Iron Man himself Tony Stark. There was speculation and a couple of rumors that stated Karen Gillan would be playing Angela in the film, which turned out to be untrue.
Adding Tony to the Guardians 2 lineup could be a way to have Iron Man apart of Phase Three, without having an entire film (Iron Man 4) on his shoulders. Robert Downey Jr. seems to enjoy productions like The Avengers, as he's signed on to make Avengers: Age of Ultron and an untitled Avengers 3 (but not a fourth solo Iron Man film). Robert makes a ton of money for less work and get's to have a great time with the cast and crew, it's sort of win-win for him. Allowing him more time to do other projects, instead of having a huge chunk of his time dedicated to both Iron Man and Avengers sequels.
If the rumors are true, Marvel is trying to setup Doc Strange as the new staple character of the MCU (taking over for Tony), having Iron Man leave Earth for cosmic adventures would explain his departure from The Avengers. Plus, would allow Stark to explore an ever expanding sci-fi fuelled universe, populated with a ton of enemies that could give him a real threat, not just more science experiments (which is getting boring). It doesn't hurt that it's currently comic book cannon that Stark is a Guardian. Having Iron Man apart of the lineup could also be a way to scare-off competition like Batman Vs Superman from considering going head-to-head with Guardians 2.