Will the Guardians be splitting up in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3"? YouTube/Marvel Entertainment

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” may still be a little ways off before it hits theatres, but that isn’t stopping fans from discussing what may transpire once the film sees the light of day. One area of speculation involves the Guardians themselves and where fans might find them in “Vol. 3.” Seeing as the film will take place after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War,” it’s safe to say that the future of “Vol. 3” in terms of story direction is heavily reliant on what “Infinity War” will bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). With “Vol. 3” also manifesting after the still untitled “Avengers 4,” it is expected that the next “Guardians” film will have a substantial time skip within the MCU. That fact alone leaves some openings for possibilities that may be explored for the next “Guardians” storyline.

With a notable time skip in their midst, the dynamic of the Guardians may change considerably by the time “Vol. 3” surfaces. This, in turn, provides an opening for one possibility to be explored: the Guardians going their separate ways. It’s not the happiest of ideas, but it’s canon: according to ComicBook, the 2008 iteration of “Guardians of the Galaxy” saw the team splitting up for a substantial amount of time after Peter Quill/Star-Lord utilised Mantis’ abilities to guide their thoughts towards the same conclusion. Considering the friction between the Guardians had already manifested — most recently in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” even — the idea of a breakup doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. Though it’s still too early to say if such an idea will come into fruition, it’s worth noting that the group splitting up was a noteworthy event in the original source material. Thus, it’s not something that’s completely off the table, at least for the time being.

In other news, the release date for “Vol. 3” was previously teased by director James Gunn. Taking to Facebook, the film director thanked fans for the support for the “Guardians” movie saga and the recent release of “Vol. 2.” Along with his message of thanks came a mention of progress for “Vol. 3,” particularly regarding the time frame needed before the aforementioned film will see a release.

“Thank you so much, my Facebook friends, for supporting me over the past two and half years, and thank you for all the messages letting us know we’ve keyed into the frequency of your hearts,” Gunn wrote on the social media website. “I love you all, and I’ll continue being here with you over the next three years as we create Vol. 3.”

The mention of “the next three years” acted a hint as to how long it may take to accomplish “Vol. 3.” With such a detail into consideration, the film may see a possible release date sometime in 2020, though such a conclusion has yet to be officially addressed nor confirmed.