Although it’s still nearly two years away from debuting in theaters, fans are slowly getting themselves ready for the long-awaited third installment in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Marvel Studios is still early in the development process for this threequel, only having confirmed its release date and title card this past summer.
Vol. 3 will pit the team against dangerous new galactic threats in a post-Avengers: Endgame world in a story that will come after two other appearances in Thor: Love and Thunder and the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in 2022.
Along with the Guardians' story continuing, Vol. 3 is sure to introduce key new players that will help to push the cosmic narrative forward in a big way. Earlier in 2021, rumors pointed to one of these players being Adam Warlock, although it caused a short round of controversy online with Gunn in the process.
However, as filming gets closer to starting up, it appears Marvel is bringing Warlock into the fray after all.
Adam Warlock Coming to the MCU
Sources report that Gunn and the Marvel team began their search for the Warlock actor at the end of August, with Poulter being one of a group of actors to vie for the role. Marvel and Gunn both wanted to take their time with the casting process given the excitement started in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for his arrival, but admitted that Poulter's test "was too good to pass up."
Gunn also took to Twitter to confirm the casting while referencing his penchant for shooting down rumors surrounding his movie. He welcomed Poulter into "the Guardians family" and praised his abilities while also teasing more coming in a couple of weeks:
"As you guys know I often strike down false rumors, so… um… Welcome to the Guardians family, Will Poulter. He’s an amazing actor and wonderful guy. See you in a couple weeks."
The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit also took to Twitter to call Adam Warlock "the role 'everyone wants'" for the past couple of months. He teased that other names on the Adam Warlock shortlist included Rege-Jean Page and George MacKay:
"Since at least August, it's been the role "every one wants." At least for young male Hollywood, which read and met on it. Rege-Jean Page was considered for it, 1917's George MacKay was on the shortlist."
"I Think I Shall Call Him...Adam."
In one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's post-credits scenes, Elizabeth Debicki's Ayesha sat wallowing in her defeat as she planned her revenge on the galactic team of a-holes. She stared intently at a birthing pod that held a being of immense power as she prematurely gave him the name "Adam," implying none other than Adam Warlock.
Looking back at the pages of Marvel Comics, Adam Warlock was created by a group of researchers called the "Enclave," which was reworked to be included as the Sovereign's story in the MCU. Their goal was to create what they believed to be the perfect human being and the peak of evolution, although they quickly lost control of Warlock as he evolved into a more powerful entity.
Originally created in 1967, Warlock has spent his time in the comics as one of Marvel's most powerful beings - one of the few who can wield the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet. The character has even simply been referred to as "Him" in many of his runs, which adds to his legend both in the eyes of fans and other beings across the galaxy.
Although Warlock was a key player in Marvel Comics' Infinity Gauntlet storyline with Thanos, the MCU took its time delivering the intergalactic powerhouse to the live-action movies. Now that Thanos is out of the picture and the Guardians have left Earth, Warlock should serve as a similar powerhouse upon his arrival in the MCU.
Poulter will be taking on the biggest role of his career after movies on his resume, such as We Are The Millers and The Maze Runner, embodying what many describe as the perfect being in the Marvel universe. It's unclear exactly how big his role will be in this movie, but with the character's popularity and the hype surrounding his MCU debut, it seems clear he will be someone to watch out for.
Another big question to consider is how long Warlock will be involved with the MCU since Poulter will only be 30 years old by the time he debuts in the MCU. The franchise's cosmic story will undoubtedly expand even further, and Poulter has a chance to be a big part of that expansion by bringing Adam Warlock to life.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will debut in theaters on May 5, 2023.