How Many Movies Has the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Cast Signed Up For?
The future of Guardians of the Galaxy became unclear after Disney fired James Gunn and the franchise’s cast expressed their strong disapproval of the company’s decision. But could these actors actually walk off Vol. 3 in solidarity even if they wanted to? How many movies have they all signed up for?
Well, we know that the film’s cast signed on to be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 years ago, so they’re all contractually obligated to appear in the film regardless of their feelings about Gunn.
Additionally, Chris Pratt told GQ in 2015 before the release of Vol. 2, “I’m tied to doing three more, or five more, Guardians of the Galaxy or whatever it is, you know, two more Guardians plus another couple…”
The five films account for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, plus one more movie. However, that last film could just be an appearance in someone else’s movie and not necessarily another proper Guardians. After all, when Benedict Cumberbatch appeared in Thor: Ragnarok, this counted as one of the films on his contract.
It’s not entirely clear whether the other Guardians cast members have signed on for that fifth film, but a six-picture deal has become quite common among MCU stars, so it seems like a safe assumption that everyone signed a contract similar to Pratt’s. At minimum, they all have to appear in Vol. 3
Drax actor Dave Bautista confirmed on Twitter this weekend that he has at least signed on through Vol. 3. He wrote that he would appear in Vol. 3 because he is “legally obligated” to do so, although the idea of continuing to work for Disney after they fired Gunn is “nauseating,” he said. Bautista added that Guardians of the Galaxy without Gunn isn’t what he signed up for.
One thing that’s worth noting about these contracts is that just because Marvel signs someone up for six films doesn’t always mean the actor will definitely be used in all six. For instance, Aaron Taylor-Johnson actually signed a multi-picture deal when he was cast as Quicksilver, only for him to die in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It’s also worth noting that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was already expected to be the end of the Guardians trilogy. James Gunn had said that the movie could launch spinoffs, but there wasn’t going to be a proper Vol. 4 that continued the same exact story with the same team.
What all of this means is that the Guardians cast will very likely end up in a Vol. 3, even if Disney doesn’t listen to them and rehire Gunn. However, the actors are clearly going to be unhappy about that, and so it’s looking pretty likely that with someone like Bautista, Marvel will choose to retire his character after Vol. 3 if they weren’t already planning to do so, especially considering he’s now publicly saying that working for Disney is “nauseating.”
Technically, it’s even possible that Bautista doesn’t appear in Vol. 3. Although he has signed a contract, and Disney can pursue legal action if he refuses to act in the sequel, there’s also precedence for Marvel letting actors out of contracts when they don’t want to play their character anymore.
For instance, when Hugo Weaving agreed to play Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, he actually signed on for multiple movies. Yet when Red Skull appeared in Avengers: Infinity War, a different actor played the character; Marvel had not forced Weaving into reprising the role.
“I did sign up for a number of pictures and I suppose, contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to,” Weaving said in 2012.