‘Guardians Vol. 3’ Will Not be Directed by Taika Waititi: ‘Those Are James Gunn’s Films’

Zack Sharf

While Marvel still plans on making “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” one filmmaker who will not be behind the camera for the tentpole is Taika Waititi. The indie favorite is a veteran of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to his work on “Thor: Ragnarok” and has been a fan favorite option to replace James Gunn in the director’s chair since both men share a love for witty banter and quirky outcasts. While attending the TCA press tour in support of his FX series “What We Do in the Shadows,” Waititi confirmed he will not take over the “Guardians” franchise.

“I didn’t really,” Waititi said when asked if he envisioned taking over the franchise. “For me, those are James Gunn’s films. Going into something like that with his stamp all over his films, would be like going into someone’s house and saying, ‘Hey, I’m your new dad, and this is how we make peanut butter sandwiches now. It feels kind of awkward.”

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Waititi added he “wants to do another movie with them,” referring to Marvel Studios, but whatever comes next for him and the MCU won’t be a “Guardians” movie. “I’m still hanging out with those guys and talking about new stuff,” the director said.

With Waititi officially out of the running, the search continues for a “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” director. James Gunn was attached as writer and director following his work on the first two entries, but he was fired by Disney last summer after controversial jokes from his past resurfaced online. Disney and Marvel put the film on hiatus as a result of the firing. The movie was originally going to be shot in 2019 and set for release in 2020.

Speaking to Variety at the world premiere of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” Chris Pratt assured fans that a third “Guardians” movie is still in the cards despite the setbacks. As Pratt said, “I promise there’ll be a third movie, I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but I know everyone on board is just eager to give the fans what they want and wrap up a trilogy in a meaningful way.”

Gunn is currently writing and directing the next “Suicide Squad” movie for Warner Bros. The movie will be an entry in the DC Extended Universe and already has an August 6, 2021 release date.