The first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ushers in the end of an era for Marvel. The film is the final adventure of this iteration of the cosmic team, and it is also a final Marvel bow for James Gunn, who has departed the MCU to take a job as a top executive at DC Studios, where he co-runs its film, TV and animation efforts.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, and introduces the character Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a game-changer for Marvel, which had already made $1 billion brands out of so-called “b-level” characters such as Iron Man. But 2014’s Guardians took that formula to a new level, turning obscure characters into a global brand. The film, which earned $773.3 million globally, ushered in an era in which quirky filmmakers such as Gunn put their own stamps on Marvel properties. A sequel followed in 2017, with the third eyed for 2020 before Gunn was fired from the property over offensive, old tweets before eventually being reinstated.
The Guardians, and the voice Gunn established, has been important to Marvel in between Vol. 2 and Vol. 3. The characters appeared in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, released last month on Disney+.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 debuts May 5, 2023.