Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Cast: 16 Actors & Characters Confirmed to Appear

Guardians Galaxy 3 cast confirmed
By Matt Roembke Posted:

The James Gunn era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming to a close and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the swan song. 

Between now and May 5, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will reset this team after their brief appearance in Thor: Love & Thunder. So while safe bets are on this movie being a search for the lost Gamora, the Holiday Special will provide more context on the plot.  

However, much like the previous two installations, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be more about the characters than anything else. James Gunn shocked the world in 2014 with The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 prompting audiences to care deeply for a talking raccoon and a henchman tree alien. 

Nearly a decade later this roster of characters has become fan favorites. Proving there is not a deep enough Marvel Universe cut for the MCU to tackle.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's Main Cast Members

1.) Chris Pratt - Star-Lord

Star-Lord, Peter Quill, Chris Pratt
Marvel Studios

The face of the franchise returns with Chris Pratt reprising his leading role as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. 

In the trailer for The Holiday Special the plot seems to be about Gamora's absence following Avengers: Endgame and cheering Quill up. Assuming the Guardians are able to achieve their goal, look for Star-Lord to be in slightly better spirits as they move on to take on whatever challenge Volume 3 has in store. 

With this being reported to be the last time fans see THIS Guardians team together, Peter Quill is a contender to receive one of those patented emotional James Gunn deaths. 

2.) Zoe Saldaña - Gamora

Gamora, Zoe Saldana
Marvel Studios

Zoe Saldaña is set to have a busy few months between Avatar: The Way Of Water and The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 releasing roughly 5 months apart. 

After her surprisingly pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame, Gamora has become the most intriguing character on this list. This variant of Gamora does not have experiences past the first act of Volume 1. 

That means no relationship with Peter Quill and no mended sister relationship with Nebula (other than the abridged version seen in Endgame). 

For all intents and purposes, this is a fresh slate for one of the Guardians most important characters. 

3.) Bradley Cooper - Rocket

Rocket Racoon, Bradley Cooper
Marvel Studios

Bradley Cooper brings his voice back for Volume 3 for Rocket Racoon. Rocket has been through a lot in his MCU career going from bounty hunter to Guardian of the Galaxy to Avenger.

Rocket is a favorite to be a major focus of this movie. His backstory has only been teased and the inclusion of The High Evolutionary points to that being fleshed out.

Rocket is also the leading candidate for the "logo theory" of Guardians of the Galaxy as his fur and suit mirror the colors of the logo. In the past, characters that resemble the color scheme of the logos in these movies have suffered emotional deaths in the third act. (Groot in Volume 1, Yondu in Volume 2.) 

4.) Dave Bautista - Drax

Drax, Dave Bautista
Marvel Studios

Dave Bautista is back as Drax and is another Guardian whose backstory has been teased, but never fully explored. 

Drax seems to be one of the leads in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. This will likely be the most focus this character has received so far which could set him up for an efficient role in Volume 3. 

Something to keep an eye on is his relationship with Mantis, which will spearhead The Holiday Special. 

5.) Pom Klementieff - Mantis

Mantis, Pom Klementieff
Marvel Studios

The only member of the team to not be included in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 is Pom Klementieff's Mantis.

The ultimate partner of dry humor and lack of awareness for Drax, Mantis has been another incredible comedic asset for James Gunn to use.

In classic MCU fashion, the funniest characters are not telling jokes. They are just being who they are. Mantis is a great example of that. 

6.) Vin Diesel - Groot

Groot, Vin Diesel
Marvel Studios

The sweet prince of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back and bigger than ever. Vin Diesel returns as Groot in his final Swole form. After the traumatic death of Groot the First in Guardians Vol. 1, Groot the Second has been a face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at every turn. 

Baby Groot, teenage Groot, and now Swole Groot is the closest thing the MCU will get to Pokémon and fans are here for it. Despite saying no more than 4 words in his MCU tenure, Groot is set up for ANOTHER scene-stealing role in Volume 3. 

7.) Karen Gillan - Nebula

Nebula, Karen Gillan
Marvel Studios

One of the most interesting characters in the MCU, Karen Gillan's Nebula has had one of the most intriguing arches of anyone on this list. 

Starting as a henchwoman heel in Vol. 1, evolving to a reluctant member of the team in Vol. 2, and a cornerstone piece of Infinity War and Endgame as she becomes an Avenger.

Gillan has teased that Nebula's time spent with Tony Stark, The Avengers, and James Rhodes has lightened up her stern and stubborn personality. Gillan has found her footing with Nebula and Vol. 3 is an opportunity to let it rip. 

8.) Sean Gunn - Kraglin

Kraglin, Sean Gunn
Marvel Studios

The mocap king is back in his second role in the MCU, Ravager leader Kraglin. 

Brother of the director James Gunn, Sean Gunn pulls double duty for every Guardians property as the mocap actor for Rocket Racoon and Kraglin. Despite being mostly a supporting character for Quill and Yondu, Kraglin has had some surprisingly emotional moments in the franchise. 

With the red fin atop his head, fans are waiting to see if Kraglin has improved his arrow whistling skills to bring back one of the best weapons in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

9.) Will Poulter - Adam Warlock

Will Poulter, Adam Warlock
Marvel

One of the last post-credit scenes from The Infinity Saga yet to be addressed, Will Poulter will make his debut as Adam Warlock. 

Poulter is most known for his norratic and comedic role in We Are The Millers. After a Micky Mouse workout and a classic Hollywood glow-up, Poulter has now been cast as what many in the Marvel Universe refer to as the perfect specimen. 

There are so many threads leading to this character that could be addressed. He is a product of Sovereign, created to beat the Guardians. There is an eerie similarity to his brief post-credit introduction to the creation of The Eternals. Keep an eye out for that. 

10.) Chukwudi Iwuji - The High Evolutionary

High Evolutionary, Chukwudi Iwuji
Warner Bros, Marvel

The antagonist of the film, the DC/Gunn crossover, tone-setter of the movie, Chukwudi Iwuji's High Evolutionary. 

The High Evolutionary is (in comics) responsible for the cruel and unusual testing of beings across the universe and the creator of Rocket Racoon. This is another reason Rocket is the favorite to be the center of the plot along with Quill's search for Gamora. 

Words that have been thrown around with this character have been "sociopathic" "narcissistic" and "very charming". This is the type of character that James Gunn can get in his bag with and Iwuji is the perfect vehicle for this character. 

11.) Maria Bakalova - Cosmo

Cosmo, Maria Bakalova
Marvel Studios

After a brief appearance in The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 Cosmo the dog is set to make her first speaking appearance in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special before another appearance in Volume 3. 

Maria Bakalova is voicing the golden retriever/Russian astronaut and will surely be a plot pairing with Rocket Racoon. Look for Cosmo to provide exploration with The High Evolutionary and plenty of internet love after the movie's release. 

12.) Elizabeth Debicki - Ayesha

Ayesha, Elizabeth Debicki
Marvel Studios

Elizabeth Debicki returns in her role from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Sovereign leader, Ayesha. 

Ayesha will likely provide the introduction to Adam Warlock and give audiences a sense of stakes with this character. Another impact supporting character in the MCU that fans will be excited to see again, Ayesha's presence in this movie is welcomed. 

13.) Sylvester Stallone - Stakar

Stakar, Sylvester Stallone
Marvel Studios

One of the biggest names in Hollywood history made a brief debut in Volume 2 and is expected for a larger role in Volume 3. Sylvester Stallone returns as original Ravager Stakar. 

Stakar's role will pace how much the Ravagers play a part in Volume 3. After the death of Yondu, it seemed like the Ravager's role in the plot had come to a close but keep an eye out for Sly to keep the space pirates relevant. 

14.) Michael Rosenbaum - Martinex

Michael Rosenbaum, Martinex
Marvel Studios

One of the legends of modern-day live-action comic book projects, Micahel Rosenbaum is set to return as cameo character Martinex, another original Ravager. 

He will likely remain by the side of Stakar and be a supporting piece to whatever that storyline is. 

15.) Daniela Melchior

Daniela Melchior
Marvel Studios

Another DC crossover with The Suicide Squad's Daniela Melchior making her MCU debut. 

The Ratcatcher II actor is appearing in an unknown role that will likely steal whichever scene she appears in. Gunn loves working with his friends and Melchior is reaping the benefits. 

16.) Nico Santos

Nico Santos
Superstore

Another MCU debut will be Crazy Rich Asians star, Nico Santos. Santos will likely play a comedic role in getting the Guardians from A to B. Another Marvel Studios bread and butter is these characters who don't have a huge impact on the story but fans love seeing them on screen. 

Rumored/Debunked

Jennifer Holland

James Gunn recently married longtime coworker and friend Jennifer Holland who plays Agent Emilia Harcourt in The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker, and Jaume Collet-Serra's Black Adam. 

It is unknown if Holland will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 but she has been seen across the set. Could be a loving wife visiting her husband at work, or could be another cameo set to send fans into a frenzy. 

Michael Rooker - Yondu

James Gunn has been a leader of the "death needs to mean something" movement, specifically in the MCU. He has found loopholes with Groot but Yondu's death in Volume 2 has the feeling of finality. 

If Michael Rooker was going to dawn the blue skin one more time, it would likely take place in a flashback from Peter Quill, Kraglin, or Stakar. 

Kamail Nanjiani - Kingo

Despite his reported role in Volume 3, Kamail Nanjiani's Kingo has been debunked to appear in this cosmic adventure. The reason being they decided to make Eternals where Kingo played a huge role as part of the team. 

In a world of crossovers and cameos, expect Kingo to interact with other cosmic Marvel characters, but not next May. 

Chris Hemsworth - Thor

After a cup of coffee in Thor: Love & Thunder, it seems the Asgardians of the Galaxy have come to an end in the MCU. Gunn responded to Barstool Sports Clem saying that Thor will not appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. 

It was good while it lasted, but now they are past it. 

A Guardians Encore

All signs point to this being the last dance for one of the most influential and impactful franchises in comic book movie history. James Gunn and the cast of Guardians have changed what these movies can be and they are sure to make on last impact before Gunn moves to the blue brand for good. 

Who will survive? Who will continue their MCU journey? And who will unexpectedly steal the hearts of the world the way only a James Gunn character can do? 

Find out May 5, 2023 when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters.