Six days before "Guardians of the Galaxy" arrives in theaters, Marvel Studios has already announced a date for its sequel: July 28, 2017.
The news was delivered by video from director James Gunn and Chris Pratt as Marvel's Hall H presentation concluded at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Nicole Perlman, who penned an early draft of "Guardians of the Galaxy," revealed Friday that Gunn would return to direct and write the follow-up.
A sequel, announced even this early, is a bit of a no-brainer, as early reviews for the space adventure have been overwhelmingly positive, and it's on track to gross more than $60 million in its opening weekend. Marvel parent company Disney has also put a lot of merchandising muscle behind the film, touting what was once a fringe property as "a third Marvel franchise that can be at retail alongside our powerhouse franchises of The Avengers and Spider-Man."
The July 28, 2017, release date is one of the six that Marvel snatched up within the past week. No other films were announced during the panel, leaving the rest of the studio's calendar a big question mark.
Opening Aug. 1, "Guardians of the Galaxy" stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou , John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.