It looks as though James Gunn is hammering out his schedule and we all get to know about it. Gunn was all set to direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3’ until some inappropriate old tweets were dredged up and made public, causing Disney to fire him last year. After a fruitless search to find a replacement, Disney re-hired him in March, but in the meantime, Gunn had signed on to both write and direct ‘The Suicide Squad’ for Warner Brothers. Many have wondered how he was going to juggle these projects, but a report from The Hollywood Reporter, regarding the salaries of the Marvel stars gives a few hints about what to expect and when.
The report mentions that ‘Guardians 3’ will shoot in 2020. ‘The Suicide Squad’ is tracking to begin filming this fall. Casting is in full swing, as David Dastmalchian (‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’) has just signed on to play the Polka-Dot Man, a character that Gunn included in the script. The timing on ‘The Suicide Squad’ has never made sense, and unfortunately, it still doesn’t. Its release date is August 6, 2021. Technically, Gunn could begin filming anytime between now and the end of 2020 and still make that date.
But the way it looks now, ‘The Suicide Squad’ will begin filming this fall, which may be enough time to wrap before the New Year. If not, it should wrap in early 2020. Months of post-production will be necessary. Provided Gunn takes an active role in post, that should be done by summer, which would allow him to begin work on ‘Guardians 3’ following that.
Gunn had completed a script for ‘Guardians 3’ prior to being dismissed, but it’s not clear if things will be ready to roll from there, or if revisions will be needed. It is possible that, depending on his workload, Gunn could work on the ‘Guardians 3’ screenplay while working on ‘The Suicide Squad’. But certain parts of pre-production could be delegated, but he may not want to do so.
Side note, according to the THR article, Chris Hemsworth‘s original contract was fulfilled and he renegotiated for ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Endgame’, but Thor has seen a real uptick in popularity thanks to ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and those last two ‘Avengers’ pictures. Reportedly, Hemsworth was paid somewhere between $15-$20 million for ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Endgame’, and the end of the second movie seemed to indicate that he would be back in ‘Guardians 3’. Now that the Marvel movies generate more money than God, it shouldn’t be difficult to entice him back, and he has gone on the record as saying he would definitely do another solo ‘Thor’ as long as Taika Waititi directs it.
If production on ‘Guardians 3’ begins early enough next year, it’s actually quite possible that BOTH movies could be out in 2021! Yep, TWO James Gunn superhero movies from rival studios in one year! Wouldn’t that be something?