The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been on a roll during Phase Three, with every single new installment bringing massive box office numbers and rave reviews. But there is some trouble in paradise, especially as its relates to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The fan favorite property's future in currently unknown, with Guardians 3 put on indefinite hold after Disney fired James Gunn this past July.

Plenty of names have been rumored to be picking up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with the most recent one being Bumblebee and Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight. Now Knight has seemingly denied this reports, as he was quote in an Italian outlet saying:

After Bumblebee, my goal is to return to work at the animation studios Laika, my 'child', bringing with me all the baggage of experiences I have gained with this project. I'm a huge fan of what Marvel did, it's no surprise for anyone to know that as a child I was a huge fan of comics. But no, it's just a rumor!

While this might not be an exact translation, the message seems pretty clear. The rumors of Travis Knight taking over the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise are just that: rumors. The director is reportedly aiming to focus back on Laika Studios, instead of taking on other giant blockbuster project-- especially one with such big shoes to fill.

Travis Knight's comments come to us from Italian outlet BadTaste.It, and seem to put the kabosh on reports of his involvement in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The threequel was originally set to be one of the first installments to arrive after Avengers 4, presumably hitting theaters in the wake of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But James Gunn was fired from Marvel after offensive tweets from a decade ago resurfaced, and the House of Mouse took quick action to distance itself from the director.

It appears Marvel may still be on the hunt for a director, which makes a great deal of sense. The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is all told through James Gunn's eyes, with the director's personal tastes and sensibilities running throughout. Gunn's dance moves, taste in music, and sense of humor are what give the Guardians movies their signature style, and it's going to be hard to find someone with the same vision and taste level.

Travis Knight is perhaps best known for his work on Kubo and the Two Strings. He has a ton of experience in animation, and worked with stop-motion for Kubo and the other projects which come from Laika Studios. In fact, Bumblebee is his live-action directorial debut. But given the heavy use of visual affects to bring the titular robots to life, it's an interesting combination of his skills.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 continues to be on hold until further notice. Bumblebee will arrive in theaters on December 21st, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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