The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 Trailer Gets The Whole Band Back Together

Yes, Gamora too.

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 
Marvel Studios

When Guardians of the Galaxy became the biggest hit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 2, it was a game changer for Marvel. A sweary raccoon, a tree who only knows one word, a genetically engineered idiot, the adopted daughter of Thanos, and a half-Celestial who likes classic rock were not the most auspicious group of superheroes, let alone become Marvel’s most popular standalone franchise. But now their story is coming to a close, with Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 heading to theaters in 2023.

The path to Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 was rather rocky. The first two films were blockbusters, bringing in $773 million and $864 million worldwide, respectively. Marvel immediately planned to make a third and final installment with director James Gunn to help kick off Phase 4 and set up the next saga. But the controversy over Gunn’s old tweets surfaced, causing Disney to fire him. The film's status was up in the air for a while, with stars like Dave Bautista vocally protesting Gunn’s removal. After looking further into the matter, Marvel and Disney reversed course, rehiring Gunn to finish his series.

By then, the MCU had set the early Phase 4 schedule with Black Widow kicking off the new era, and Gunn had already committed to making The Suicide Squad, further delaying Guardians 3 filming. And that was all before the 2020 Hollywood shutdown upended Marvel’s release schedule for over a year. By the time everything shook out, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had become part of the opening salvo for Phase 5 along with Ant-Man: Quantumania.

But things are now back on track, and with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special streaming on Disney+, fans are ready for the final saga in the GOTG canon. Here’s everything fans should know about the new film.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Trailer

The first trailer for GOTG Vol. 3 was finally released to the public on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, just as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever rolled into its fourth weekend at the top of the box office rankings. After the Guardians had a short cameo in the opening sequence of Thor: Love & Thunder, the group set out on their own, and as Peter Quill declares, they are back. Back where exactly? As the trailer shows, they’ve arrived on Counter-Earth, Rocket’s homeworld.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Cast

Marvel Studios

When the first film premiered, the GOTG ensemble was the most extensive main cast of any standalone series within the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe. That record’s since been broken, but it’s still a full ship, with Chris Pratt heading up the group as the well-meaning if slightly goofy Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. Bautista is the muscle, Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper is the voice of tech genius Rocket, and Vin Diesel is the voice of the now-Swole Groot. Pom Klementieff returns as the empath Mantis and Karen Gillan as Nebula; the once bad-girl adopted daughter of Thanos now turned good.

Zoe Saldana will return as Gamora, although not the original Gamora, who died in the final two Avengers films that closed out the Infinity Saga. Instead, she’s a girl-out-of-time-Gamora, who accidentally traveled to the future from before she ever met her Guardian friends. But as the trailer suggests, this Gamora will rejoin the team before the adventure ends.

Other actors from Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 who are confirmed to return include Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, the leader of the Sovereign people, and Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord, Yondu’s old friend. Sean Gunn will return as Kraglin Obfonteri, who will now run the Ravagers, and Michael Rosenbaum returns as Martinex, another high-ranking Ravager.

Marvel Studios

On Oct. 12, 2021. just ahead of filming, Deadline revealed at least one other central figure would join Vol. 3: Adam Warlock. The character was teased in one of Vol. 2’s five post-credit scenes and debuted in the GOTG 3 trailer. He’ll be played by Will Poulter (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?). More cast was confirmed in June 2022, with Gunn revealing he had brought over actor Daniela Melchior, who starred in The Suicide Squad. Her role is small, and Gunn confirmed it was not a reprise of her DC superhero character, Moondragon, from the other film. Gunn also brought over Chukwudi Iwuji (from his The Suicide Squad spinoff, Peacemaker). Like Melchior, he will not reprise his DC character, instead playing the arch-villain, High Evolutionary, who rules Counter-Earth.

Other actors revealed by Deadline post-filming include Nico Santos (Superstore) and Maria Bakalova (Borat). The latter will play the motion-capture character, Cosmo the Spacedog, who was introduced in the GOTG Holiday Special.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Plot

Marvel Studios

As always, Marvel has kept nearly everything under wraps about the upcoming installment until the arrival of the trailer at Brazil’s Comic Con in December 2022.

Here’s the synopsis released along with the trailer and key art:

Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians.

The trailer also teases that the film will bring Gamora back to the Guardians’ fold and delve into the backstory of Rocket the Racoon. The latter is confirmed by the group’s arrival on Counter-Earth, which from the trailer, looks to be a mashup of two Marvel planets: Halfworld and Counter-Earth.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Filming Updates

Marvel Studios

Filming for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was confirmed by Gunn to begin before the end of 2021. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel in June, star Chris Pratt revealed the planned filming schedule for the film was currently slated to begin in November 2021. Filming ran through the spring, with the production officially wrapping in May 2022.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special

Though no Guardians of the Galaxy spinoff TV series is in the works (at least not yet), fans should not count the crew out from Disney+ completely. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which arrived in November 2022, was Marvel Studio’s first official Disney+ special for the holidays. (Hawkeye was Christmas-focused, but not a special, nor billed as a specific holiday release.) Will the Guardians get back together for the holidays as a regular activity? Viewers will have to see how Vol. 3 shakes out first.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Release Date

Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will premiere in theaters on May 5, 2023.

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