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Could James Gunn Do Anything He Wanted in Marvel’s Guardians 3?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is something of a rarity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While several heroes have gotten film trilogies in the saga, with the exception of Spider-Man, none of those trilogies have felt like one complete story. Stories with endings. Stories where, if the filmmaker wanted, they could—let’s say—kill a character or two. In most cases, like with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Ant-Man, we expected those characters to return after their respective part threes.

For some reason—maybe because writer-director James Gunn has since departed Marvel for its biggest competitor, DC—with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, you just have the sense that anything could happen. Everyone could die in a single explosion and it wouldn’t matter because Gunn is done with the MCU for good. And so, with that all in mind, we wondered: did Marvel Studios, and specifically its president Kevin Feige, give Gunn full rein to do whatever he wanted? Or were certain characters, twists, and so on off-limits? Basically, how much slack was Gunn given to tell his story?

“I think he gets all the slack,” Feige said during a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 press conference earlier today. “As much slack as there is to give, he is given.” Gunn agreed. “I get all the slack, especially on this one,” he said.

As a quick follow-up, Feige was asked specifically about worries regarding killing characters. “On previous movies, we had some discussions about that but not on this one,” he said. “This one really was about seeing it through because it always was designed as a trilogy capper.” “That’s right,” Gunn agreed.

So, what does that mean? Do the Guardians make it out unscathed? Will they return to the MCU? And, if so, when? Having seen the movie, I will say most of the answers to those questions are in there; they are not at all what you’re expecting, but expect to feel emotional about it. Find out for yourself when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens May 5.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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