James Gunn Teases Adam Warlock’s Next MCU Appearance After Guardians 3

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Adam Warlock, Avengers

In a new interview, James Gunn teased Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and how his character could become very important for the MCU down the line.

The arrival of Adam Warlock has been one fans have begged for since the first movie in the series was released. Sadly, it wasn’t until Vol. 2 that Marvel Studios finally laid the groundwork for his arrival.

Six years later, and it’s finally almost time for Adam Warlock to hit screens. But what exactly is the character up to, and how big of a role will he go on to have in the MCU?

Adam Warlock’s Place in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Star-Lord, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Guardians 3 logo
The Direct

In a new interview with Empire Magazine, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn talked about Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock and his important future in the MCU.

When first speaking on the character, Gunn noted how Warlock is “definitely not a good guy” and that when he is introduced, he “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.”

When casting, the director chose Poulter because he wanted someone who had both "the dramatic chops and the comedic chops.”

“People online were saying, ‘Oh, Tom Cruise should be Adam Warlock’… I wanted somebody who was youthful, and I wanted the person who had the dramatic chops and the comedic chops, not only for this movie but for what Marvel will use Adam Warlock for in the future.”

Gunn finished off with a notable tease, stating how “[Warlock] could become this really important character [in the MCU].”

So what exactly might this future be?

With the villainy of the character being directly teased by Gunn, it’s important to bring attention to an extremely relevant part of Warlock’s character: The Magus.

The Dark Side of Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock, Magus, Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

One key element of Adam Warlock’s character is his dark side: The Magus, aka, the future version of what Warlock is destined to become.

The corrupted side of the character has shown his face from time to time in the comics, always causing big issues whenever he does. To make matters worse, he’s extremely powerful—on scales equivalent to the likes of Thanos and Kang the Conqueror.

So, while Adam Warlock might throw some fists at the Guardians, he will inevitably turn to their side. But when this happens, the story will almost certainly start dropping hints about Magus’ existence.

Audiences should not be surprised if one of the post-credits tags for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 teases Warlock’s dark side. Oddly enough, the darker aspects of Warlock are very reminiscent of Sentry’s problems.

Sentry was previously rumored to be the villain for The Thunderbolts film. The character, who could be thought of as a Superman-like hero, also has a dark side called the Void.

Both the Void and Magus are similar in power levels as well as their detriment to their other halves. Perhaps the MCU might try to connect the two somehow, especially if both are being introduced around the same time.

Where Will Warlock Show Up Next?

Adam Warlock, MCU, Marvel Studios
The Direct

So, where exactly will Adam Warlock show up next?

Well, assuming he lives past Vol. 3 (which he undoubtedly will), there aren’t any obvious choices.

Perhaps Magus is such a big threat to Warlock’s future, and existence itself, that it’s built into Kang’s motivations and plans. The same theory could be applied to Sentry’s Void.

Perhaps the Multiversal Conqueror is trying to protect all of reality from Magus showing his face and causing an incomprehensible amount of damage.

Much like how Thanos truly believed he was doing what needed to be done, this would give Kang that same resolve—and provide plenty of opportunity to build up Adam Warlock in the wider MCU.

Though, until the Magus shows his face, Warlock will likely make his way down the path of heroism as he grows and matures. He’s likely to pop up in other big cosmic adventures as well.

For example, if The Eternals 2 does get made, then it would be a fantastic place for Warlock to pop up again. Then there’s the inevitable next iteration of the Guardians themselves, which he’s likely to be a team member of.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, later this year.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.