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Guardians of the Galaxy 2 isn’t a cosmic set-up for Avengers: Infinity War, says director

Marvel Studios may have its cinematic universe mapped out through 2020 and the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, but that doesn’t mean that all of the movies hitting theaters between Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Infinity War – Part 1 will simply serve as set-up for that cosmic crossover. In fact, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn says the upcoming sequel to his hit film might not link up with Infinity War the way many fans expect.

“I don’t feel beholden to that stuff at all,” Gunn told MTV when asked if Marvel’s ambitious, interconnected slate of films has any effect on his creative freedom for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. “I think it’s really about the Guardians and what they are doing. We’re not subservient to the Avengers.”

“Guardians 2 is not a movie that’s made to move toward Infinity War,” he added. “It’s something that’s made to move toward future cosmic movies, so I don’t feel that that is something that affects me that much.”

Related: A Marvel Comics reading list to get you ready for Phase Three of the Cinematic Universe

Still, Gunn has admitted that to have such larger-than-life characters like the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy inhabit the same universe without being on each other’s radar would be a little strange — so a crossover between the teams is certainly possible between now and Infinity War.

Little is known about Marvel’s plans for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel at this point, other than the expected return of cast members Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel (as the voice of Groot), and Bradley Cooper (as the voice of Rocket Raccoon). The film is scheduled to hit theaters May 5, 2017. The first chapter of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is scheduled to hit theaters May 4, 2018.

Guardians of the Galaxy will be available on DVD and Blu-ray December 9.