Guardians of the Galaxy 3: Release Date, Cast & Everything to Expect

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Star-Lord, Gamora, Guardians team in background

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the next movie and seemingly project as a whole to come from Marvel Studios, here's everything fans need to know including the release date, cast, plot, and more burning questions.

When Does Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Release?

Guardians release
Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will release in most of the world on May 5, marking the first MCU movie since the pandemic to release with no delays.

Following the end of the Marvel movie ban in the country, Vol. 3 will also be coming to Chinese theaters on the same day as the US.

Those living in the UK or the Philippines will be lucky enough to catch the movie just a couple of days early as Guardians 3 recently moved from May 5 to May 3 in the two countries. This follows a pattern that was previously present during the Infinity Saga that saw MCU releases come to the UK two days before the US.

Which Actors Return in Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Guardians Cast
Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has confirmed 17 new and returning cast members so far while a press release for the MCU threequel shed some light on the 11 of those who will be most important to the trilogy-completing story.

The full cast of actors and characters can be seen below - some actors' roles and the actors playing certain characters remain unconfirmed at this time:

  1. Chris Pratt - Peter Quill/Star-Lord
  2. Zoe Saldana - Gamora
  3. Dave Bautista - Drax
  4. Bradley Cooper - Rocket Raccoon
  5. Vin Diesel - Groot
  6. Karen Gillan - Nebula
  7. Pom Klementieff - Mantis
  8. Sean Gunn - Kraglin 
  9. Chukwudi Iwuji - The High Evolutionary
  10. Will Poulter - Adam Warlock
  11. Maria Bakalova - Cosmo
  12. ??? - Lylla
  13. Elizabeth Debicki - Ayesha
  14. Sylvester Stallone - Stakar
  15. Michael Rosenbaum - Martinex
  16. Daniela Melchior - ???
  17. Nico Santos - ???

What Is Guardians of the Galaxy 3 About?

Guardians Rocket
Marvel Studios

Rocket Raccoon is believed to be the most important character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with the synopsis describing a plot centered around his "turbulent past" with the High Evolutionary and a mission to save his life - one that risks bringing an end to everybody's favorite team of sci-fi misfits. 

"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."

James Gunn has already warned viewers to be wary of spoilers on social media "starting at the end of April," however, he made it very clear that he doesn't think knowing the movie's secrets will impact anyone's enjoyment.

How Long Is Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Guardians 3 Length
Marvel Studios

The surprisingly lengthy runtime for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was revealed by a ticket seller to come in at 2 hours and 29 minutes, making it by far the longest movie of the trilogy and even the longest flick ever from director James Gunn.

The first Guardians movie clocked in at 2 hours and 2 minutes while the second jumped up to 2 hours and 17 minutes. Meanwhile, the recent Disney+ Holiday Special ran far shorter at around 42 minutes. 

What Age Rating Is Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Guardians 3 Rating
Marvel Studios

As expected, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was recently rated PG-13 by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), much like every other movie in the MCU so far which famously targets the family audience.

The rating was given for "intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references, and thematic elements."

Who Will Die in Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Drax Guardians
Marvel Studios

James Gunn has subtly hinted at a major death coming in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and with this seemingly being the end of the line for this bunch of heroes, most seem to agree at least one of the team won't be making it out alive.

Star-Lord's Chris Pratt, Drax's Dave Bautista, and Gamora's Zoe Saldana have already been open about their imminent MCU retirement. So, the question is less about who's leaving the franchise, and more about who's going to get a happy exit.

Well, one line in the trailer had some believing Drax's death was being teased. Meanwhile, the story centering around Rocket's past and a mission to save his life also has many worried for the beloved furry hero.

Is Adam Warlock a Villain in Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Adam Warlock
Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 saw Sovereign High Priestess Ayesha introduce her new creation "Adam" as the "next step in [their] evolution" who will be "more powerful" and "more capable of destroying" the Guardians. Clearly, this stinger sets him up to face-off with the Guardians, at least at first.

James Gunn has already confirmed Adam Warlock is "definitely not a good guy" when he debuts as he currently "does not understand life very well:

“But 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.”

However, in the comics, Adam Warlock tends to eventually find himself on the heroic path. Gunn already suggested he could become a "really important character" in the MCU, so perhaps Will Poulter's Guardians character will be back.

So Who Is the Villain of Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Guardians 3 High Evolutionary
Marvel Studios

So, if not Adam Warlock, who will be the main antagonist of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? That honor will go to the High Evolutionary, played by Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji, a character with close ties to Rocket Raccoon's past.

The "sociopathic" High Evolutionary has a long history of experimenting on living beings to create what he sees as the ultimate lifeform. Among his creations was the Guardians' Rocket Raccoon himself.

How Is Gamora Alive in Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Guardians Gamora
Marvel Studios

As many will remember, Gamora met her demise in Avengers: Infinity War as her father Thanos sacrificed her to get his hands on the Soul Stone. So, how is she alive to play a major role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Well, the original Gamora who has been featured in the MCU so far remains dead. However, the time travel antics of Avengers: Endgame saw 2014's pre-Guardians Gamora pulled into the present-day where she remained at the end of the movie.

This version of Zoe Salanda's MCU hero will be devoid of her history with Peter Quill and the Guardians, with her now off on her own leading the Ravagers. 

Are Mantis and Star-Lord Siblings in the MCU?

Mantis Star Lord Guardians
Marvel Studios

Disney+'s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special revealed Chris Pratt's Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, and Pom Klementieff's Mantis are half-siblings, with both being children of Kurt Russell's Vol. 2 villain Ego the Living Planet.

The reveal originally came in a deleted scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but only formally became canon in the Special Presentation - although the moment was actually spoiled by Marvel Studios themselves before release.

Their sibling connection was originally hidden from Quill until Mantis told him of their familial relationship in a heartfelt moment at the end of the Disney+ special.

When Will Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Release on Disney+?

Guardians 3 Disney Plus
Marvel Studios

The window between an MCU movie's theatrical and Disney+ release has varied wildly throughout the Multiverse Saga from the low end of 47 days for Doctor Strange 2 to the frustratingly high end of 82 days for Black Panther 2.

This could leave the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming to Disney+ anywhere between late June and late July, with an exact date only likely to become clear at least a few weeks after its theatrical run gets underway.

Will There Be a Guardians of the Galaxy 4?

Guardians 4
Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been touted as the end of the line for this batch of galactic heroes. Several members of the cast have already addressed their imminent MCU retirement and the trailers have floated the line "one last time," so all signs are pointing to this being the final installment in the franchise.

At one point Gunn was saying "never say never" to Vol. 4, despite seeing Vol. 3 as "the end of the Guardians' story," but that all came before his DC promotion. So, if there is a future for the Guardians, it will likely come with a different director as Gunn has said he "doesn't care" about any potential new team.

At least for now, the blunt answer to whether there will be a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 is almost certainly a resounding no.

Watch: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Trailers

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has already debuted two trailers, the first of which came in December with a deeply emotional trailer to the sound of Spacehog's "In The Meantime," potentially revealing the threequel's deeper meaning.

The second and final trailer followed in February with a brutal look at Rocket's origin, a wild callback to Thanos himself, and even a peak at one of the High Evolutionary's superpowers.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.