news James Gunn Wants ‘Guardians Vol. 3’ to Be Worthy of the ‘Before Sunrise’ Trilogy

James Gunn knows trilogies are tough to master, so why not look to the best for capping off “Guardians of the Galaxy”?

The writer-director and newly-minted DC Studios co-CEO revealed that his final “Guardians of the Galaxy” installment emulates some of his favorite threequels, including Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” trilogy which spanned 18 years and concluded with 2013’s “Before Midnight.”

“The amount of good third episodes in a trilogy, I can count them on one hand,” Gunn told Entertainment Weekly. “Basically, there’s the ‘Before Sunrise’ series, ‘Lord of the Rings,’ maybe ‘Spider-Man.’ But there’s just not too many good third ones.”

Gunn added that “Vol. 3” is “the big one” where “things really happen” to the characters, played by Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldaña, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper.

“This is where we get to know the truth about who these characters are, and we face the biggest stakes,” Gunn said, citing the importance of Cooper’s furry character Rocket the Raccoon.

“One of the reasons why I came back to [make] this movie was because I felt like I needed to tell Rocket’s story,” Gunn continued. “To me, Rocket has always been the secret protagonist of the ‘Guardians’ movies. I think he exemplifies a lot of the traits of all the Guardians. They’ve had all these traumas, and it brings them together. I just think that his is more extreme than others.”

Gunn concluded, “Once I started doing the first ‘Guardians’ movie, I felt drawn to it. I felt called to it, if that makes any sense. So I feel very good [about ‘Vol. 3’] because I feel like I did everything that I possibly could to make this trilogy as good as it can possibly be. And I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate that I had all these people around me making it. It’s the biggest blessing of my life…I would’ve been very sad not to complete the trilogy for many reasons, but I just feel very connected to Rocket. I feel like nobody would be able to tell his full story if it wasn’t me.”