Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 filming is underway and will be the final film in director James Gunn's MCU space comedy trilogy. After being postponed from its initial release in 2020 due to Gunn's firing from the project in 2018 (which was subsequently undone) the movie is now set to come out in 2023, six years after Vol. 2 and nearly nine years after the first movie.
The main cast of the Guardians franchise- including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, and more - are returning for Vol. 3, and it has been announced that actor Will Poulter will make his MCU debut as Adam Warlock in the movie.
However, there are still other actors and roles which have yet to be revealed, including the villain of the film.
Who Is the Villain of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
In regards to the third Guardians movie, Walsh mentioned he had heard that the primary antagonist would be the High Evolutionary, saying "I did hear - this is a thing that's been floating around - the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 is the High Evolutionary."
In describing this character's roles, Walsh said "I know he's like one of those 'I'm gonna experiment on beings' guys" and that "essentially the idea in the movie is that he's gonna be the one who created Rocket."
The High Evolutionary Joins the MCU
In Marvel Comics, the High Evoluntionary is indeed a character who experiments on beings, doing so for the purposes of creating an extremely powerful, godlike being. He is from Earth in the comics, but its likely that if his MCU counterpart also is. He, like Peter Quill, will have ended up in another part of space at some point.
The High Evolutionary did create animal-people hybrid creatures in the comics, so Rocket being one of those creatures would make a lot of sense.
The character also has connections to other elements of Marvel Comics lore that have already been introduced to the MCU, including characters like Thor and the Hulk. He has also made use of the Darkhold, the results of which came in the form of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff receiving their powers.
While WandaVision both introduced the Darkhold to the MCU and provided some backstory on Wanda's powers, the direct origins of neither hers nor Pietro's powers were revealed in the series, so a project with the High Evolutionary and the Scarlet Witch with a similar reveal could happen down the line in the MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 is scheduled to release theatrically on May 5, 2023.