Entertainment Movies Director James Gunn Says 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' Is 'the End for Us' The filmmaker teased the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise with the upcoming Volume 3 starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper By Alexia Fernández Published on January 27, 2022 08:50 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Marvel; Inset: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic James Gunn is ready to say goodbye to the Guardians of the Galaxy. The director appeared on Deadline's Hero Nation podcast where he spoke about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 being the last installment in the franchise featuring Chris Pratt, Zoë Saldana and the rest of the team as fans know it. "This is the end for us, the last time people will see this team of Guardians," Gunn said of the third movie, which is due in theaters on May 5, 2023. Gunn, who helmed the first two volumes for Marvel, said the upcoming film is "big." "It's so, so big and dark, and different from what people might be expecting it to be," he said. "I just want to be true to the characters, the story and give people the wrap-up that they deserve for the story." Gunn added that concluding a story that fans have followed closely for years is "always a little bit scary. I'm doing my best." Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana Reunite on First Day of Filming for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 "I'm aware that the third film in most trilogies sucks," he said before adding that was "not always" the case. Production on the third movie began in November 2021 with Gunn sharing a photo of the cast together on Instagram. "It's been a strange & long & at times challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful. Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting #GotGVol3," Gunn wrote. The photo featured returning cast members Pratt, Saldana, Karen Gillan, Gunn's brother Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, and the newest cast members Will Poulter and Chukwudi Iwuji. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. In July, Bautista told PEOPLE he was preparing for his "bittersweet" exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Volume 3. "I don't know if they'll move forward with the character or with Guardians at all [after Guardians 3]," he said at the time, adding that he'd chosen to refrain from reading a script for the upcoming installment. "I'll probably have to do a table read but they would really even have to force me to do that. I like going in with no expectations, you know, because I'm a fan." "That will be the end of my Drax journey," he added. "It's been a hell of a journey with this cast and Guardians and the whole Marvel Universe. I feel like it really launched my career. And I'm kind of wrapping up that part of my journey, so it's very much a bittersweet thing."