Following Marvel severing ties with writer/director James Gunn, it appears as if the fate of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is even more up in the air, with the studio putting production of the third film on hold.

According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), crew members who were prepping for pre-production of Vol. 3 to kick off later this year have been told that they’re free to take other work.

What this means for the third instalment in the Guardians franchise is unclear, but THR’s sources note that this move from Disney and Marvel Studios is a “regrouping” one.

Putting things on hold for awhile is being interpreted as the pair of companies looking for a new director to helm the project. Curiously though, they are said to keeping Gunn on as a writer in order to have access to his script, which means that his vision for Vol. 3 will be realised in some fashion.

As for how the actual story plays out is a little murky at this stage, as is the role of Dave Bautista who plays Drax the Destroyer. Bautista has been outspoken following Gunn’s firing, even stating that he would not return to the world of Marvel if the director was not reinstated.

Seeing as Drax was one of several characters turned to dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, and should Bautista and Disney not come to an agreement, he could very well find himself omitted from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With this franchise one of Marvel’s most popular movie properties, we’re hoping pre-production can commence on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 shortly, with all the cast onboard for the project.