Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: James Gunn says film will mark the end of the current line-up

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is barreling towards its major shift point: 2019's Avengers 4.

It's already been heavily hinted at that the film will mark some major changes in terms of characters and franchises, which likely means saying farewell to some old favourites.

A transition that is also apparently set to take place with the Guardians of the Galaxy, with James Gunn revealing to The Hollywood Reporter that Vol. 3 will mark the end of this current line-up, reflecting earlier comments he made that the film will "conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians".

An obvious answer to what he could be hinting about is the Ravagers team briefly seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and consisting of Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord, Michael Rosenbaum as Martinex, Ving Rhames as Charlie-27, Michelle Yeoh Aleta Ogord, Krugarr, and Miley Cyrus as Mainframe - a team based on the original Guardians in the comics.

Gunn left things open-ended, stating simply: "Iím definitely interested in the direction that these characters are headed and their roles in the Marvel Universe."

However, the MCU seems unlikely to explore some of the team's more outlandish origins (there are elements of time travel), with Gunn replying: "That is not something that weíre dealing with. These are older characters and more criminal than our Guardians. So weíre focusing on that."

The director also isn't afraid to deviate from the comics when it comes to Adam Warlock, slyly introduced in the post-credit sequences of Vol. 2., an attempt to create the perfect human being and later possessor of the Soul Gem - one of the Infinity Gems Thanos has been so ravenously after in the MCU.

"I always do whatís best for the movie," he explained. "A lot of times, that means taking things from the source material and other times itís changing things. Iíve changed a lot already from the comics with the Guardians. Grootís personality in the first Guardians, which people loved, was nothing like his personality in the comics."

"He didnít have that puppy dog innocence that we love about Groot. I donít restraint myself in any way when it comes to using stuff from the comics or not using it."