Earlier this evening, during Marvel Studios’ San Diego Comic Con panel inside the hallowed Hall H, director James Gunn and Chris Pratt (Star-Lord) announced a sequel to next week’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Gunn will return to write and direct GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 in time for its July 28, 2017 release.

This is a massive show of confidence for a brand new property still days away of its opening weekend, but Marvel’s faith is well placed. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY has received rave reviews so far (you can read mine here) and it’s been tracking to open in the $60 million range. That would be comparable to THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, both of which earned sequels.

Gunn spoke more about his immediate return to GOTG on his Facebook page.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is in theaters August 1. We will have more on Marvel’s massive Hall H panel tomorrow.