The Marvel Cinematic Universe is closing out another trilogy this summer. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 promises to be the final chapter in the current team’s story, as director James Gunn has heavily teased that not all members of his cosmic crew will make it out of the theater alive. As evident by threequels like Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Studios tends to up the atee for its third installments, both in action and story. The larger scale also includes runtime, as both Iron Man 3 and Civil War clocked in as the longest films in their respective trilogies.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will follow suit. Responding to a question on Instagram, Gunn revealed that Vol. 3 will be the longest film in the Guardians franchise. While Gunn did not specify exactly how long Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will end up being, history indicates that it will be at least 138 minutes. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) ran for 122 minutes while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) punched in at 137 minutes.
Getting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finished has been a obstacle course to say the least. The threequel was initially set to open Phase 4 in May 2020 but was put on indefinite pause when Disney briefly severed ties with Gunn. During that time, Gunn joined DC and began working on The Suicide Squad. Gunn and Disney would eventually make nice and the acclaimed filmmaker was reinstated as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s director, but his new DC commitments meant Vol. 3 production could not begin for a while. The global pandemic didn’t help the process either, as Gunn and company weren’t able to begin filming until November 2021, over four years after the third Guardians movie was internally placed on Marvel’s release slate.
It’s worth noting that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the longest film of Phase 5 so far. The only other entry, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, clocked in at 125 minutes. Given that the film will be at least 138 minutes, it will be longer than the majority of Phase 4 entries as well, as only Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had runtimes higher than that.