First Look at Guardians of the Galaxy 3’s Full Cast Back In Action

By Michileen Martin | 16 hours ago

guardians of the galaxy 3

It’s been a long time and sometimes it looked like the Guardians might never get together again in their own movie, at least not with writer/director James Gunn at the helm. But in spite of controversies, firings, Twitter cancel campaigns, working with who the late Stan Lee used to call the Distinguished Competition, and of course a worldwide pandemic, the Guardians are back. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 has begun filming, and James Gunn was kind enough to post the first photo of the assembled cast to social media.

Gunn posted the photo to his Twitter account, calling the journey from the previous film to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 “strange & long & at times challenging.” All of that, Gunn writes, has only served to make the reunion “more blissful.” You can see Gunn’s post and the accompanying photo below.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 photo includes friends old and new. Along with James Gunn there’s his brother Sean, who plays the ravager Kraglin as well as the on-set Rocket. They’re joined by returning cast members Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), and Karen Gillan (Nebula). But there are new faces as well. Standing next to Klementieff is Will Poulter, who was announced last month as playing the long-awaited Adam Warlock.

However there’s one actor in the photo who hadn’t previously been announced as joining the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. Behind James Gunn — between Klementieff and Sean Gunn — is Chukwudi Iwuji. The actor worked with James Gunn recently on the upcoming HBO Max series Peacemaker. When he was asked about Iwuji, James Gunn confirmed the actor’s identity and said only that he gave him “the role most every big name actor in Hollywood wanted.”

The photo along with Gunn’s cryptic words have already lead to widespread speculation as to the identity of Iwuji’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 mystery character. Just scroll through the responses to Gunn’s tweet and you’ll find guesses including pretty much every cosmic Marvel character who hasn’t yet appeared in a film. The predictions include the One Above All, Silver Surfer, Quasar, Major Victory, Beta Ray Bill, Man-Thing, Mephisto, and even Howard the Duck, even though the fowl is already played by Seth Green. Some other frequent guesses include the High Evolutionary and Gladiator. But by far the most oft-repeated guess is for Nova.

The identity of Chukwudi Iwuji’s character is one of many unknowns we’re met with in respect to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. When we last saw the team at the end of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Thor was catching a lift with the space travelers, and Star-Lord seemed understandably focused on locating the Gamora of 2014. By the time the third Guardians film premieres, they will already have appeared in next year’s Thor: Love and Thunder along with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. There’s no telling what may happen to the heroes between now and their upcoming sequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 was the only announced post-2021 Marvel film not impacted by the recently announced line-wide delays. The film is still set to hit theaters on May 23, 2023. While they didn’t appear in the cast photo, you can expect to hear Vin Diesel return as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.