Here’s everything we know about James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 story. Development on Guardians of the Galaxy 3 has been underway since 2017 when Marvel officially confirmed that Gunn would return to close out his trilogy. As the writer and director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, fans became quite nervous about the trilogy’s future after old tweets led to Gunn being fired by Disney. Thankfully, the House of Mouse and Marvel rehired him to tackle the highly anticipated cosmic adventure, even if that meant pushing the movie until 2023.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to be one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most influential movies of Phase 4. It was initially scheduled to kick off the post-Infinity Saga story, but now it will arrive near the end of Phase 4, if not the start of Phase 5. Throughout all this time, Gunn and those involved with the movie have continued to tease details about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s plot. These details go beyond the film’s confirmed cast list: Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Karen Gillen as Nebula, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, and more.
Marvel Studios isn’t planning to release Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 until May 2023, so that is one of many reasons why the movie’s storyline has yet to be officially confirmed. However, the film’s extended development has meant ample time for various pieces of information to come to light. Since there is so much info to keep track of, though, here’s a breakdown of everything we know about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s story.
Guardians 3 Takes Place After Endgame & Thor 4
Before the end of Phase 3, the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise mainly operated on its own without too much concern for the larger MCU storyline. This allowed the series to stand alone and not worry about how it connects to or builds off what is happening around it. That isn’t the case with the threequel following the Guardian’s involvement in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Thor: Love and Thunder. It is confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s story primarily occurs after their last MCU appearance and an upcoming role in Taika Waititi’s film. This places the sequel’s events sometime after 2023 in the MCU timeline. As a result, it means roughly a decade will have passed in-universe between the Guardians’ last solo mission.
Guardians 3 Ends The MCU’s Original Team Lineup
The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has revolved around a core team of five heroes from the very beginning: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot. While Yondu (Michael Rooker), Kraglin (Sean Gunn), Mantis, and Nebula have all joined the team since then, that original group is at the heart of the franchise. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the final time they are all together, though. James Gunn has repeatedly mentioned that the sequel ends the original iteration of the team, opening the door for Guardians of the Galaxy 4 to have a new team. This has led to significant speculation about how that will be, as the movie’s various main characters could leave the Guardians team or the MCU entirely.
James Gunn’s Script Is Very Emotional
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3’s plot has mostly stayed under wraps, but one of the most common teases about its story from those involved is how emotional it is. Cast members like Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff said they cried when reading James Gunn’s script, while many others have praised the emotional rollercoaster it holds. Although the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has excelled thanks to its humor, the films also have strong emotional cores. Yondu’s death is one of the MCU’s most heartwrenching scenes, and the teases of the team ending have brought on theories that some of the biggest characters could die. Any of the film’s main characters, like Rocket, dying in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 would partially explain this recurring sentiment of those who know what James Gunn’s script is all about.
Rocket’s Origin Will Be Explored
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s plot will also include exploring Rocket’s origins. James Gunn has made it quite known that Rocket is the character he relates to the most, which is why the raccoon has taken on an increasingly more prominent role as the MCU has continued. Rocket’s origins have yet to be thoroughly explored, though, as the original Guardians of the Galaxy only teased the scars on his back from the experiments he endured in the past. Gunn has confirmed that this part of Rocket’s origin is tied to where his overall story is heading, so it should be a key piece of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s story. As for how that will happen, theories suggest Rocket’s ties to major Marvel characters like High Evolutionary or Adam Warlock as possible explanations.
Adam Warlock Is Confirmed
The biggest new addition to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s cast is Will Poulter as Adam Warlock. The young actor landed the coveted MCU role, which will transform him into one of Marvel’s most powerful characters. Gunn teased Adam Warlock’s role in the sequel during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s post-credits scene. In that scene, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) was shown creating Adam in one of the Sovereign’s Birth Pods. She made him as a foe powerful enough to take down the Guardians after they defeated her. It isn’t confirmed what this means for Adam Warlock’s role, but he could be the main villain of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and even be known as Magus.
Gamora Has A Significant Role
It is also known that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s plot includes a major role for Gamora. After her death on Vormir in Avengers: Infinity War, it became unclear how Gamora would appear in James Gunn’s movie. Avengers: Endgame cleared the air, as Zoe Saldana rejoined the MCU as a 2014 version of Thanos’ favorite daughter, thanks to the film’s time travel plot. This version of Gamora has no recollection of a romance with Star-Lord, becoming a hero with the Guardians, or any other part of her MCU story before. Although Avengers: Endgame didn’t reveal what happened to her after the Avengers’ fight with Thanos, a deleted scene showed Gamora freely walk away. With Star-Lord shown searching for Gamora at the end of the film, it appears that finding her will be a crucial part of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s story.