James Gunn is writing and directing two of the most high-profile superhero films of the next few years — DC’s The Suicide Squad and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — and he says that neither one of them has been delayed so far by the current coronavirus pandemic.
Gunn made his remarks while answering fans’ questions on Twitter, according to Variety, although he updated and clarified his remarks a short time later with an additional tweet. The onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent closing of all non-essential businesses, including theaters and movie studios, has wreaked havoc with both release dates and production timelines, but both of Gunn’s films are far enough out that they may escape the brunt of the slowdown.
Asked if he thought the August 6, 2021 release date of The Suicide Squad — both a sequel to and reboot of 2016’s Suicide Squad — could be pushed back, Gunn replied, “Right now there’s no reason for The Suicide Squad release date to move. We are on or ahead of schedule. We were extremely fortunate to wrap shooting and set up editing from our homes (due to a post-production team and studio with foresight) before quarantine.”
But although work is proceeding, Gunn did admit that they were not prepared yet to release any images or a trailer: “I wish we were but, as you might imagine, although editing #TheSuicideSquad has been pretty smooth in the time of quarantine (I’m working on the cut right now), there are a lot of other factors slowed – some of those related to releasing images, trailers, etc.”
As for the third Guardians of the Galaxy adventure — which Gunn was fired from in 2018 and rehired for last year — that movie has yet to get an official release date from Marvel so right now there’s theoretically nothing to delay. Gunn was a bit vaguer on that front but said that things are on track: “Right now the plans with Vol. 3 are also exactly the same as they were before coronavirus.”
It’s been speculated that Guardians 3 could arrive in 2022 or 2023. With Marvel recently shifting the entire release schedule for its next phase of movies, it’s possible that the film’s release date is still far enough in the future that the studio could avoid moving it for now.
Gunn himself seemed to acknowledge that all this could change in a follow-up tweet this morning, after one report characterized his remarks as “assuring” fans that both movies would be on time: “Well, I didn’t really assure anything: that’s not completely my call, and who knows what the future will bring. I just said coronavirus hasn’t slowed either project down in any considerable manner and right now all the plans for both remain exactly the same as they were.”