james gunn
Director James Gunn poses backstage with the award for Best Action Movie for "Guardians of the Galaxy" during the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California January 15, 2015. Reuters/Kevork Djansezian

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” has confirmed its director even before the release of its predecessor in theatres. The announcement came from the director himself, James Gunn, who posted the revelation on his Facebook page. As some fans may already be aware, Gunn also wrote and directed 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the latter of which will be released in May. Gunn's recent announcement on social media has only confirmed suspicions that he will be returning to the director’s chair for the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film.

According to Gunn’s post, the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film will be set after “Avengers: Infinity War.” It will not only conclude the “Guardians of the Galaxy” saga in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but it will also help set the stage for the next generation of films in the MCU.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will happen after [Avengers: Infinity War],” Gunn wrote on Facebook. “It will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond.”

This wouldn’t be the first time a Marvel film franchise will wrap up its tale in the MCU. Other sagas, such as “Iron Man” and “Captain America,” had previously concluded their respective trilogies in the MCU. While its stars will still be making appearances in “Avengers: Infinity War,” it remains to be seen if these actors will be extending their contracts to continue portraying their characters in the MCU.

On the topic of the next Marvel characters to be explored in the MCU, other upcoming films in the MCU’s third phase will include “Black Panther” (set for a release in 2018 and starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular character) and “Captain Marvel” (set for a 2019 premiere, with actress Brie Larson as the protagonist). Ant-Man’s story will also be delved further with “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which is set for a release in 2018.

While “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” has yet to have a release date and other story details, its predecessor, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is set two to three months after the first film and will explore more on Peter Quill’s parentage. It stars Chris Pratt as the aforementioned character. Joining the cast is Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.