There’s nothing necessarily new about a movie having a “Director’s Cut” version released after its theatrical release. The director’s cut is ideally the edited version of a film that represents the director’s approved edit. This would also include “extended editions” as well. A director’s cut would insinuate the possibility of movie studios editing films in such a way that don’t always align with the director’s intended vision.
On some occasions the director’s cut doesn’t always work out for the best. Other times, it can probably make up for a movie that didn’t have a well received theatrical release. In my opinion, Batman V Superman: Ultimate Edition would be a good example. The theatrical version was met with mixed reactions from both critics and fans. However, the extended/director’s cut appeared to have been perceived as better in comparison to its theatrical version.
This brings us to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Recently, director James Gunn was asked on Twitter whether or not Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 would have an director’s cut or not. He had this to say:
“The released version will be the Director’s cut. No Need for a different cut since the studio didn’t make me change anything.” - James Gunn
While this does sound promising, it wouldn’t be the first time a director has said something similar. This was the case recently with director David Ayer who (right off the heels of a successful Batman V Superman: Ultimate Edition) was asked whether the theatrical version of “Suicide Squad” was his version or not. He said in an interview with Collider:
But this [theatrical] cut of the movie is my cut, there’s no sort of parallel universe version of the movie, the released movie is my cut. - David Ayer
We can probably have more reason to believe that there will not be a director’s cut to the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel because there wasn’t much of a need to do so with the previous film. If Marvel Studios and James Gunn do indeed have such a good relationship, then we can take Gunn at his word. Besides, Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty successful, so there’s no reason to believe the Marvel Studios would get in Gunn’s way and interfere with his vision. You don’t fix what isn’t broken.