The third and final instalment in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy is finally upon us, bringing the eponymous team back together once again.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 will be the final chapter for this version of the team, as some of the stars of the franchise have said the movie will be their last MCU adventure.

This time around, following the events of Avengers: Endgame and their Holiday Special, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and co are forced to tackle a new villain in the form of Chukwudi Iwuji's High Evolutionary, whose evil scheme is linked to Rocket's previously unexplored backstory.

As for what fate is going to befall our furry friend, only time will tell. But things don't sound good for him - especially after director James Gunn previously had everyone convinced he was going to die.

Meanwhile, Nebula (Karen Gillan) appears to have had quite the promotion.

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Gunn previously told Deadline of last year's Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: "I [saw it] as an opportunity to introduce some elements into Guardians of the Galaxy, so I didn't have to explain them at the beginning of Volume 3.

"I don't have to talk about where they got Knowhere from, or Cosmo being around Knowhere. I think you see what Nebula's role is in the group now: she's a leader to some degree. We see all these changes since we've seen them last."

The pressure is on for the third film, with Gunn admitting he wants to break the "Threequel curse".

He added to EW: "This is the big one. This is where things really happen. This is where we get to know the truth about who these characters are, and we face the biggest stakes."

Here's all your essential information on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 release date

Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 landed in cinemas on 3rd May 2023.

Director Gunn confirmed filming on the sequel was under way on Monday 8th November 2021, tweeting a Polaroid photo of his cast back together after so long.

He said: "It’s been a strange and long and, at times, challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful. Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting."

The shoot wrapped in May 2022, allowing the lengthy post-production process to begin.

By the time that Guardians Vol 3 comes out, it will have been six years since the ragtag superhero team had their last solo adventure, but the long gap between stories was apparently not intentional.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film was once intended to shoot in 2020, but Gunn's temporary firing (more on that below), his later commitment to The Suicide Squad, plus the coronavirus pandemic caused repeated delays.

How long is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3?

The new film is one of the longest MCU movies ever.

It runs for a confirmed 149 minutes and 51 seconds or, in other words, nearly two-and-a-half hours.

That's nearly 20 minutes longer than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (130 mins 24 seconds) and almost a whopping 30 minutes longer than the first movie (120 min, 41 seconds).

Who stars in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3?

Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 YouTube/Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will reunite the core team one last time: Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri.

The group will also be reunited with Zoe Saldaña's Gamora variant that was last seen in Avengers: Endgame after the original Gamora was killed off in Avengers: Infinity War.

Fans should definitely savour seeing all their favourites back together as it may not happen again, with Gunn tweeting partway through filming that "this is the last Guardians movie for most of us".

That certainly seems to be the case with Gunn now taking a senior executive role at rival DC Studios, while Bautista has been vocal about leaving the MCU for several years now.

Here is the confirmed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 cast list so far:

  • Chris Pratt as Star-Lord/Peter Quill
  • Zoe Saldana as Gamora
  • Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer
  • Vin Diesel as Groot
  • Bradley Cooper as Rocket
  • Karen Gillan as Nebula
  • Pom Klementieff as Mantis
  • Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha
  • Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri
  • Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord
  • Will Poulter as Adam Warlock
  • Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary
  • Maria Bakalova as Cosmo the Space Dog
  • Michael Rosenbaum as Martinex

One notable addition is Will Poulter in the role of fan-favourite character Adam Warlock, an enormously powerful being created by the Sovereign to destroy their rivals and dubbed the "perfect" man.

The Hollywood Reporter claimed that Bridgerton‘s Regé-Jean Page and 1917's George MacKay were also considered for the role, but ultimately Poulter bagged the gig just a few weeks before filming was set to kick off.

Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 YouTube/Marvel Studios

Shortly after his casting, Poulter told "I’m very honoured to have been invited into the Guardians of the Galaxy family and to be part of the Marvel Universe.

“I think the thing that attracted me was, the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in particular is like one of the most creative and unique ones out there,” he added.

Poulter continued: “And I’m very grateful to James Gunn for entrusting me with this really respected and sought after character. I just hope I do it justice.”

In addition, actor Chukwudi Iwuji has joined the cast as the High Evolutionary, as confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, where he dropped into the Marvel panel in full costume (see below).

Chukwudi Iwuji as High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Chukwudi Iwuji as High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. YouTube/Marvel Studios

Previously, lwuji had teased some details about his then-secret MCU role during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“Powerful,” he said. “Extremely powerful. Complex. James and I were talking about it, but he’s certainly one of, if not the most complex characters we’ve seen in the freaking Marvel universe."

This marks the second time that Iwuji and Gunn have collaborated on a comic book project, with the first being HBO Max's The Suicide Squad spin-off series Peacemaker, where he played mercenary Clemson Murn.

“Chuk has indeed joined the cast,” director James Gunn wrote on Twitter. “After working with him on Peacemaker I wasn’t about to let go of one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with – so I gave him the role most every big name actor in Hollywood wanted."

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 plot

Gamora, Drax and Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Gamora, Drax and Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 YouTube/Marvel Studios

The sequel to the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, Vol 3 will tell the continuing story of the intergalactic “A-Holes” who saved the galaxy from Ronan the Accuser and Ego in previous movies.

The film will likely deal with the fallout from Avengers: Endgame and will introduce the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), who wishes to create a "perfect society".

We also know that the story will involve the popular comic book character Adam Warlock (teased in the previous movie), who is an extremely powerful cosmic being created by Elizabeth Debicki’s gold-skinned character, Ayesha.

While answering fan questions on Instagram, Gunn mentioned who his favourite characters to write are and hinted at which of them have the most interesting stories in Vol. 3.

"I probably liked writing Nebula and Rocket's arcs most (still continuing into Vol 3)," he revealed. "But I also think we have great things coming up for the others, like Quill and Mantis. All of their arcs take place over the three films as opposed to in only the individual movies."

Nebula actor Karen Gillan seemingly agrees that Nebula's arc ends on a strong note, revealing to Collider that she and co-star Pom Klementieff (Mantis) were in tears after their first read-through.

"We read it together and we both cried and laughed, but there was full tears," she said. "It’s incredible, I think it’s James’s strongest work yet with the Guardians and it’s just brilliant. It’s brilliant and it’s emotional and it’s funny and it’s all of those things that you want.”

The film will also follow on from the revelation in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special that Mantis is the half-sister of Star-Lord/Peter Quill, sharing a father in Ego.

A synopsis teases: "Our beloved band of misfits are settling into life on Knowhere, but it isn't long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket's turbulent past.

"Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket's life – a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them."

Who will die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3?

Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 YouTube/Marvel Studios

It’s been expected for some time that Guardians 3 will be a swansong for this iteration of the team, with many fans speculating who among the heroes will ride off into the sunset and who will meet a tragic end.

Writer-director Gunn has previously teased that he wouldn't be afraid to kill off several characters in this concluding chapter, while confirming this is "the last time people will see this team of Guardians".

Speaking about Vol. 3, Gunn told Deadline's Hero Nation Podcast. "It's big; it's so, so big and dark, and different from what people might be expecting it to be. I just want to be true to the characters, the story and give people the wrap-up that they deserve for the story. That's always a little bit scary; I'm doing my best."

Bautista has also said that the team is "wrapping up" with this entry (via Phase Zero), adding that he is unlikely to return as Drax after Guardians Vol 3, following some vocal criticism of Disney's handling of James Gunn's Twitter controversy.

Who is Adam Warlock?

Will Poulter as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Will Poulter as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 YouTube/Marvel Studios

Adam Warlock is a fan-favourite Marvel character and one of the most powerful figures in its universe.

However, details surrounding Adam Warlock in the third film are thin on the ground - but it's been said that he's "definitely not a good guy."

Gunn recently told Empire: "He’s definitely not a good guy. What we’re seeing is the infant form of Warlock, newly out of the cocoon, and he does not understand life very well. He’s basically a baby."

The trailer also suggests that Warlock will have an antagonistic role, at least initially, as he appears to be shown striking Nebula in combat.

Warlock's debut was first teased at the tail-end of Vol. 2 when Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha announces that the gold-skinned Sovereign people have created the perfect being.

He is encased in a gold cocoon, so we never actually get a look at Warlock in the 2017 blockbuster, but the brief scene sets him up as a major player in Gunn’s trilogy-closer.

The Suicide Squad director has confirmed on Twitter that Warlock will don a gold-encrusted cocoon-like his creators in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, adding after the announcement that Poulter is “an amazing actor and a wonderful guy”.

Is there a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 trailer?

Yes, the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 was released after it was shown at Brazil Comic-Con 2022.

The clip promotes the conclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy directed by James Gunn and also teases the return of the variant of Gamora introduced in Avengers: Endgame.

Plus, it gave us our first look at Will Poulter as Adam Warlock and also what appears to be the origin story of Rocket.

The new trailer, released for the 2023 Super Bowl, gives us more of a glimpse of our returning heroes and their final mission.

Watch it below:

Why did James Gunn get fired?

Marvel made headlines in the summer of 2018 when James Gunn (writer-director of the first two Guardians films) was fired after old tweets resurfaced in which he made dark jokes related to child abuse and rape.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said of the firing: "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James's Twitter feed are indefensible. [They are] inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."

The Guardians cast rallied around him, signing an open letter calling for him to be rehired, while many fans argued that the decade-old jokes are not an accurate representation of Gunn's character.

In March 2019, the advocates got their way and Gunn was brought back aboard the project, although his prolonged absence was a contributing factor to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 taking so long to get here.

James Gunn
James Gunn (Getty)

“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months," Gunn wrote. "I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be."

Following this, rumours abounded about who could replace Gunn in the director's chair, while his cast signed an open letter asking Disney to reinstate him (with actor Dave Bautista a particularly staunch defender).

Perhaps it was this backlash that led Disney to re-hire Gunn just a short while later, with the director confirming on Twitter that he was back working on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as of March 2019.

In a candid interview with Deadline, the director spoke in greater detail about his shock sacking from the film last year, revealing he thought it could be the end of his career.

"Disney totally had the right to fire me. This wasn’t a free speech issue. I said something they didn’t like and they completely had the right to fire me. There was never any argument of that... I don’t blame anyone," he said.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 is out in UK cinemas now. Looking for something else to watch? Check out the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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