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Chris Pratt Gives Guardians Of The Galaxy Fans The News They've Been Waiting For

The "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise has been one of Marvel's most successful since the first film premiered in 2014. Even so, the production for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" has been one of the most star-crossed of all Marvel films in recent memory. In 2018, a year after the second film premiered, beloved director James Gunn was temporarily fired from the franchise over some controversial old tweets. After an outpouring of fan support, Marvel brought Gunn back into the fold, but not before the director signed on with DC to direct "The Suicide Squad." This meant that Gunn wouldn't be available to helm the next "Guardians" movie until "The Suicide Squad" premiered, which it finally did in August 2021.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, which affected all parts of life — especially the movie industry. Marvel was no exception, and Disney was forced to push back the release dates on nearly all films planned for release during its Phase 4. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" wasn't planned as part of Phase 4 (via Inside the Magic), but many observers are concerned that the delays with the other Marvel movies will have a ripple effect on the entire upcoming schedule.

That's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the next "Guardians." But fortunately, it looks like things are still very much on track.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 just hit a major production milestone

On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the Team Coco Twitter account shared a video from Chris Pratt, which he filmed from the set of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." While the video was mainly intended to promote an upcoming appearance on the "Parks and Recollection" podcast hosted by Rob Lowe and Alan Yang, Pratt also declared that October 19 was the official first day of filming for the upcoming third chapter in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" saga. He also took the opportunity to show off his "sick-ass mutton chops," which he grew out to reprise his role as Peter Quill.

Pratt's post coincides with another tweet posted by James Gunn on the same day, in which the director mentioned that the film has recently completed the casting phase. Altogether, this means that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" is one step closer to becoming a reality. That's welcome news for fans, who have been waiting for the film since 2017. The start of production follows an earlier tweet from Gunn, in which he promises that Marvel will not be pushing back the release date for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" like it is for other upcoming movies, including "Doctor Strange 2," "Black Panther 2," and "Thor 4" (via Republic World). In the tweet, he confirms that the next volume is indeed still scheduled for a release on May 5, 2023. That's still more than a year and a half from now, but at least we know things are still on track.