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    James Gunn will write and direct 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'

    "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" will not be James Gunn's Marvel Cinematic Universe swan song. The filmmaker has announced he will be returning to write and direct "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

    "In the end, my love for Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Star-Lord, Yondu, Mantis, Drax, and Nebula – and some of the other forthcoming heroes – goes deeper than you guys can possibly imagine," Gunn wrote in a Facebook post. "I feel they have more adventures to go on and things to learn about themselves and the wonderful and sometimes terrifying universe we all inhabit." 

    The filmmaker also explained the role this third "Guardians" film will play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it will take place after the events of "Avengers: Infinity War." 

    In addition to concluding the story of the current Guardians team, the third installment will help set up the adventures of "both old and new Marvel characters" for the next 10 years of the MCU and beyond. Gunn will be working closely with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to craft the story.

    The announcement comes in advance of the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." Gunn, who is preparing to set off on the film's U.S. press tour, explained he wanted to share the news directly with fans. 

    "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" hits theaters May 5.

    Read Gunn's full announcement below. 

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