James Gunn Finally Confirms Adam Warlock First Appearance

By Nathan Kamal | 5 days ago

Adam Warlock James gunn

James Gunn has reportedly begun to wrap up his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. The filmmaker has written and directed some of the most beloved installments of the MCU, but all indications seem to be that he is jumping ship over to Warner Bros. DCEU. However, James Gunn is not leaving Marvel Studios high and dry and is going to introduce audiences to one of the most anticipated characters to arrive in years, the cosmically powered entity known as Adam Warlock. And in atypically terse fashion, Gunn confirmed via Twitter that Adam Warlock was going to be showing up in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie. 

It has been speculated for quite a while that James Gunn would introduce Adam Warlock in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, given his previous statement that the feature would we would see “More than one great new MCU character[s]”  for the first time. It now remains to be seen who might be being introduced between Guardians films; we are going to go ahead and baselessly speculate that Santa Claus will finally be introduced to the MCU proper, but we’ll see. Fortunately, there is no shortage of weird space characters in Marvel Comics.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is being released on the Disney+ streaming platform and is shorter than the length of a standard MCU movie. It also is reportedly somewhat inspired by James Gunn’s childhood love of the notorious 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, while still being MCU canon, so it will be interesting to see how they thread that particular needle. Given that the Star Wars Holiday Special included everything from a lounge act from Golden Girl Bea Arthur to a, uh, interesting vocal performance by Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa, James Gunn has a high bar of weirdness to clear. 

The appearance of Adam Warlock as a character was first hinted at in a post-credits scene of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In that scene, the Sovereign High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) reveals a golden cocoon that fans immediately clocked as resembling that of Adam Warlock in Marvel Comics. Will Poulter was cast as Adam Warlock in October of 2021, with Debicki’s Ayesha confirmed to also appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. According to summaries from Marvel Studios, this version of the character has been created as an instrument of revenge against the Guardians, but James Gunn no doubt has some twists ahead. 


James Gunn has already teased fans with a supposed look at Will Poulter in character as Adam Warlock, but as you might expect, we did not get a lot from it. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is apparently Gunn’s swan song with the MCU, for which he was one of the primary architects of the more cosmic aspects of the franchise. Introducing one of its most iconic characters in Adam Warlock will hopefully be a proper exit for him.