The Marvel Cinematic Universe won’t be fully assimilated anytime soon—or then again, maybe it will be. In typical Marvel movie fashion, Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn gave a somewhat cryptic answer in a recent interview about just how much his intergalactic protagonists will interact with the mostly earthbound heroes of The Avengers. Gunn, who recently spoke out against Hollywood’s obsession with shared universes, claims Avengers: Age Of Ultron won’t really affect his upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy 2.
To be fair, the Screen Junkies interviewer doesn’t directly ask Gunn about a crossover. Instead, he inquires whether the darker tone of Age Of Ultron will impact the tone of the second Guardians film. Gunn has this to say:
[We’re] trying to make [Avengers] affect it as little as possible. We really are separate from the Avengers, and I don’t think people should assume too many things about the Guardians play in all this. We have our own galaxy to take care of. We have our own galaxy to save. Earth is the Avengers’ province. Thinking that everything is going to come together in a perfect way is not necessarily the way it’s gonna happen.
Unless Gunn is lying to protect a surprise, it seems Marvel plans to keep Avengers and Guardians as two largely separate franchises for now. However, that doesn’t mean the worlds won’t intersect in the future. The third and fourth Avengers films are subtitled “Infinity War,” and we already know that war will be fought against Thanos, Josh Brolin’s giant blue baddie who’s currently puppeteering minor villains in the Guardians universe. When asked about his role in Infinity War, Brolin explained, “Ultimately, it’s Thanos against everyone.” And while that doesn’t confirm that the Avengers and Guardians specifically will be teaming up, it certainly hints at it. Once Thanos possesses the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet, he’ll be a threat to the entire universe, and it’s hard to imagine the Guardians won’t have to get involved somehow.
In the meantime, Avengers: Age Of Ultron hits theaters May 2015, Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 is slated for May 2017, and the two-part Avengers: Infinity War series will be released May 2018 and 2019, respectively. Of course, there are also seven other films on the Marvel docket, so a lot could change over the next four years. Who knows? By the time 2019 rolls around, Ant-Man and Black Panther could be leading the Avengers on a campaign against animal cruelty.