Avengers Assemble may have ended with Thanos leering at us, but that may be as far as the Avengers / Guardians of the Galaxy crossover is going to extend. Out doing the rounds for his classy new Much Ado About Nothing, Joss Whedon has let slip that, while Guardians and Avengers 2 will share a cinematic universe, they won't be sharing any screen time.
"We're following Guardians at Shepperton," says Whedon, meaning that he and his Avengers team are next into the studio after James Gunn's crew has departed. "But we won't be swapping cast members," he continues. "Every movie is its own thing, and has to be." The twain never shall meet, "unless I take a lot of peyote and write a very different draft... and I'm not ruling that out!"
So while The Avengers will be inheriting a broader narrative recently vacated by the Guardians, it doesn't sound as if Michael Rooker, Zoe Saldana, John C. Reilly or any of the other Guardians will be hanging around to switch teams.
Do Whedon's words preclude cameos and / or script adjustment further down the line? Not at all. But they do give a hint of the extent to which The Guardians Of The Galaxy will stand alone in the Marvel movie canon. We'll find out exactly where and how they fit when Gunn's film is released on August 1 next year.