In 2014, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was proving to be a hugely successful project and Phase 2 was in full swing, Guardians of the Galaxy was seen as a big gamble.
Instead of adapting a 1960s Marvel mainstay, this was a film based on a space superhero team that existed briefly in the pages of Marvel Comics in the mid-2000s.
The film was previewed in a scene midway through the closing credits of Thor: The Dark World, and made viewers curious about Benicio Del Toro ‘s bizarre performance as the Collector.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe ‘s risky decision paid off, however; Guardians of the Galaxy became a gigantic success. It received a sequel in 2017 and the team went on to star in Avengers : Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Love and Thunder.
Not only did they return in the comics, but each member of the film had their own spin-off series. The team has been featured in several video games based on their film portrayals.
The franchise, will have a Christmas special on Disney+ in December, and currently also has two attractions in Disney theme parks
Unfortunately, good things don’t last forever. James Gunn will end his wacky space mercenary trilogy, right with Guardians of the Galaxy 3, which will apparently close the franchise’s doors.
Perhaps some of the characters will live on in some form in the MCU and make a few cameos here and there, but this will probably be the final chapter for the Star-Lord team of heroes.
Of course, we will have the current Guardians lineup, that means Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Vin Diesel as Groot , and Bradley Cooper as Rocket.
Sean Gunn will also return, both as Rocket ‘s mobile stand-in and as Kraglin, the Ravager crew member who is likely to be a new member of the Guardians (James Gunn joked in an interview that he is a member but cannot vote).
Zoe Saldana will return as Gamora or, more precisely, the variant of Gamora introduced in Avengers: Endgame. Since the original version of the character was killed off in Avengers: Infinity War by Thanos in an attempt to acquire the soul gem.
This time-shifted Gamora , (who existed just before the formation of the Guardians) is stuck in the main timeline of the MCU. Apart from a connection with Nebula, he has no interest in the rest of the team and especially in Quill.
Sylvester Stallone will return as Stakar Ogord, a leader of the Ravagers, who ended the last film by gathering with the leaders of the other factions to celebrate Yondu‘s funeral.
Cameos in the first two films included Miley Cyrus, Ving Rhames , and Michelle Yeoh, but it is not known if any of them will return.
Elizabeth Debicki will return as Queen Sovereign Ayesha, who, in the post credits scene of the last film, left us with a cliffhanger, which may hint at a new and fearsome enemy of the guardians.
New characters in the film
At present, the only major character we know will be introduced in the new film is Adam Warlock, played by Black Mirror star Will Poulter.
Because the Sovereign have been repeatedly humiliated by the Guardians of the Galaxy and have wasted incalculable resources in their quest, and revenge against Star-Lord‘s team, Ayesha has one last plan to set things right. He created an ultimate being who will crush the Guardians, calling him“Adam.”
In the comics, Adam Warlock (otherwise known as “Him“), was a creation of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in the pages of Fantastic Four No. 66.
Being an artificially created being, Adam is a sort of cross between Captain Marvel and Dr. Strange. Normally, in the titles in which his story is covered, he is portrayed as the protagonist of Marvel‘s cosmic story, and as one of Thanos‘s main enemies.
But if in the end the MCU sticks to the comics, and indeed Adam will not be a threat but an ally for our guardians, who will be the main villain of the film?
Who will be the main Villain of the film?
Although there is no official confirmation, the clues all point to the famous Chukwudi Iwuji, who will play the role of theHigh Evolutionary.
Some fairly recent photos of the set show various half-humans/half-animals, as well as graffiti reminiscent of theHigh Evolutionary in the comic books.
Another Kirby and Lee creation, theHigh Evolutionary was introduced in Mighty Thor No. 134, in 1966. He is a more cosmic and armored version of Dr. Moreau, devoted to his radical experiments that force evolution and race fusion on others.
He also has ties to Adam Warlock , and considering that Sovereigns are perfected by artificial evolution, it would not be surprising to discover that theHigh Evolutionary played a role in their society.
Unfortunately, there are not many concrete details about the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Of course, Star-Lord and his team will have to try to reconnect with the Gamora of the past and win her back by convincing her to join the team.
This is the only aspect that we can consider safe, since there are no particular cliffhangers or post-credit scenes that suggest the return of the crew in another chapter of the saga.
This will be the last chapter of the Guardians. Or at least, it will be the last incarnation of the Guardians. James Gunn has suggested that there may be other Guardians of the Galaxy stories, but not with this roster.
Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket and the others will have their narrative closure in this film. Actor Dave Bautista, too, has stated that this will be the last time we will see him as Drax, as he is approaching 50 years old and his character is constantly shirtless. “I expect everything to start falling apart at any moment,” Bautista joked.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be released on May 5, 2023. It was originally scheduled for release on May 1, 2020, but between James Gunn ‘s temporary dismissal from Marvel projects, the latter’s commitment to Suicide Squad, and the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many delays.
The film will be preceded by Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to be released on February 17, 2023, and followed by The Marvels scheduled for July 28, 2023.
At Marvel ‘s panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, writer-director James Gunn previewed the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
The trailer reveals, what we already suspected, that Gamora is working with the Ravagers, and remembers nothing of her time with the Guardians. While Peter Quill still loves her, she tells him that the Gamora he loved no longer exists, that she is no longer the person he knew.
But of course, the trailer also includes Gunn‘s unwavering sense of humor, which is a hallmark of this saga, as the rest of the Guardians listen to Peter ‘s awkward conversation with Gamora.
As for the new characters, the trailer showed for the first time Will Poulter as Adam Warlock and Chukwudi Iwuji in those of theHigh Evolutionary, who walked through the Hall H crowd, and then proclaimed, “I can’t wait to dissect all of you and see what I learn!” demonstrating that he is already attuned to the character.
During the panel it was also announced that Borat actress ,Maria Bakalova, will play Cosmo The Space Dog, famous for her cameo in a post-credit scene.
During this Presentation panels were also made important statements from directors and cast, Gunn stated that an important part of the third installment of Guardians will be the exploration of the origins of Rocket Raccoon , stating that Rocket “is the saddest creature in the universe, and that’s why I want to talk about his origins.”
Karen Gillan says Nebula is finding herself now that Thanos is gone and finding her personality, while Pom Klementieff says Mantis is still quirky and strange and will show a lot of confidence and fighting skills in the new film.
Although the ending of Endgame was exciting to say the least, it did not necessarily give us a complete closure of all Marvel character stories, especially that of the Guardians.
Hopefully, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 manages to perfectly balance tragedy and triumph, nostalgia and hope, acceptance and success.
These were difficult years for all our characters. A story like this must end with a triumphant ride off into the sunset, full of heartbreaking and difficult events, but ending with a great explosion of love, peace, friendship , and hope.
This is just what it takes to end such an important franchise , and surely a conclusion of this magnitude will bring tears to any longtime MCU fan’s eyes.