Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3: Everything We Know About The Final Installment Of James Gunn’s Trilogy


Eric Frederiksen

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Everything We Know About Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive test. Not just for the MCU, but for its director, James Gunn. All Marvel Studios films previous to Guardians had featured a major member of the Avengers, or the Avengers name itself. While they weren’t Spider-Man or Batman, Captain America and Iron Man at least lived in the cultural consciousness. The Guardians of the Galaxy did not. James Gunn, meanwhile, had directed a small handful of gory movies, including the dark superhero comedy, Super.

Killer casting, a soundtrack filled with unequaled needledrops, and MCU-grade visual effects skyrocketed the Guardians and Gunn from unknown to household names almost literally overnight, making stars of both of them. These days, Gunn is taking the reins over at the DC Studios arm of Warner Bros. Discovery, and the Guardians have a brand-new (James Gunn-directed) holiday special. Gunn directed a film and a television series for DC, and the Guardians of the Galaxy characters have appeared in multiple Avengers films and the latest Thor movie, Thor: Love & Thunder and even have their own holiday special.

Now, though, it’s time for both Gunn and the current Guardians lineup to close out their time with Marvel together, at least for now. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is nearly here after a very long wait–thanks in part to some ill-advised employment decisions by Disney–and is hitting theaters in 2023 to pick up where that golden cliffhanger at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 left us nearly six years ago.

What’s the release date for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 releases exactly six years after Vol. 2. That movie hit theaters on May 5, 2017. Guardians Vol. 3 is currently set to release on May 5, 2023.

Who’s the director?

James Gunn, who directed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, as well as the holiday special and two different Guardians-centric theme park rides, is directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. While this was assumed to be the case after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, that changed in 2018 when Disney fired Gunn over some old tweets for which he’d already apologized. For a time, the film was moving forward with another director at the helm, but using Gunn’s script. The cast came out in support of him, but things were looking bleak for a while, right up until Disney re-hired him. But that wasn’t before Warner Bros. offered him him the chance to direct a DC Comics movie, which ended up being The Suicide Squad. That subsequently spawned a well-received ten-episode series about John Cena’s character, Peacemaker, which has been renewed for a second season. Disney and Gunn pushed that date out yet further with the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which has Drax and Mantis looking for the ultimate Christmas gift for Peter Quill. Gunn not only directed every one of the above Marvel and DC projects, he wrote all of them as well, though sometimes with a co-writer.

Which cast members are returning?

The whole core cast of the Guardians films is returning. That includes Chris Pratt as Star-Lord/Peter Quill, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel as the voices of Rocket the Racoon and Groot. Other returning members include James’ brother Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, and Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord.

Which cast members are new?

Most prominent among new cast members is Will Poulter as Adam Warlock. Poulter is previously best known for his roles in The Maze Runner and We’re The Millers. Actors from previous Gunn projects will show up as well. Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad) and Chukwudi Iwuji (Peacemaker) have joined the cast, as has Maria Bakalova, who debuted as the voice of Cosmo the Spacedog, a psychic dog from the Russian space program, in the Holiday Special.

What do we know about the story?

Details on the plot are light, but the Guardians have been trying to make Knowhere, a prominent location from the first two films, into a safe haven for victims of the Snap (or Blip, if you’re writing a Marvel script). Now, they find their home and the universe threatened by a new enemy. Adam Warlock was teased at the end of Guardians Vol. 2. In Marvel comics, he’s a heroic character and a supposedly perfect being created by Earth scientists who rebels against his creators. He is sought out by a being called the High Evolutionary, who asks him to save a planet called Counter-Earth.

Warlock figures heavily into the Infinity War saga in the comics, as one of the very few beings that can safely wield the Infinity Gauntlet. After his tease in Guardians Vol. 2, it was assumed by many fans that he would figure into the Infinity Saga finale as well, though that never came to be. The Infinity gems are out of the picture, but Warlock has lots of other stories to tell. The 2021 Guardians of the Galaxy video game pitted the Guardians against the Universal Church of Truth, led in the comics by a corrupted version of Warlock. Additionally, new cast member Chukwudi Iwuji is playing the aforementioned High Evolutionary, who also figures into Rocket Raccoon’s origin story. Additionally, the planet the Guardians land on in the movie’s first full trailer appears to be the Counter-Earth from the comics, an Earth-like planet populated by humanoid animals.

Is there a trailer?

There sure is! A full trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 debuted on December 1, 2022, and you can watch it here. The trailer sets up the tone of the film, which will act as the finale for these characters’ time in the MCU.

Will there be more movies?

James Gunn has explicitly said that this film will be his last Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and cast members like Zoe Saldana have expressed frustration at spending so much time in franchise roles (she’s currently starring in Avatar: The Way of Water). The Guardians, however, are a canonically malleable team, meaning that if Marvel Studios wanted to introduce a new Guardians of the Galaxy team, they could–but that seems unlikely.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

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