When GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY hit theatres in 2014, it shook up the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we knew it. The movie was set completely in outer space, a soundtrack filled with ‘60s and ‘70s musical gems and featured a group of unlikely heroes who find each other and band together to become the Guardians of the Galaxy. Just short of a decade since that introduction, their story will end with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 – coming to AMC Theatres in summer 2023. Ahead of its release, we’ve learned a lot about the movie through our attendance at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
When writer/director James Gunn took the Hall H stage during Marvel’s massive 2022 SDCC panel, the filmmaker shared that his upcoming film, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3, would be the end of the story he began telling in 2014 when the Guardians first met one another in the original movie. As we emotionally prepare for this exciting Marvel entry, check out this guide to what we know about one of next year’s most anticipated theatrical releases.
Guardians And The Galaxy Vol. 3 Opens May 2023
We last saw the Guardians of the Galaxy briefly team up with Thor in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, but with Vol. 3 we’ll finally get to really catch up with the cosmic crew and learn about what becomes of them following the major events of AVENGERS: ENDGAME. The Guardians were a huge part of bringing The Infinity Saga to a close, but it’s been years since we’ve really seen them back in action center stage. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 is set to open in AMC Theatres on Friday, May 5, 2023.
The movie will be the second entry into Marvel’s Phase 5 following ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA, which will be released in February 2023. Phase 5 is two of three phases in The Multiverse Saga, which will be capped off in 2025 with two Avengers films: AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY and AVENGERS: SECRET WARS.
The Guardians Return, Alongside New Faces
The movie will reunite all the Guardians with Chris Pratt back as Peter Quill a.k.a. Starlord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Vin Diesel voicing Groot and Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket the Raccoon. Additionally, Karen Gillan is back as Nebula and as the actress said during SDCC, after having a “cathartic experience” in working with the Avengers to defeat Thanos, we’ll see more “levity” from the usually dark character. When exclusive footage of Vol. 3 was shown to Hall H, it was revealed that one central conflict of the movie will be between Quill and Gamora as he grapples with finding the only version of her, one that never fell in love with him and is now the leader of the Ravagers, since Thanos killed his Gamora for the Soul Stone.
“The love of his life just doesn’t know him, so he’s dealing with that reality and that’s a really tough place for him to be emotionally and leaves the Guardians of the Galaxy vulnerable,” Chris Pratt told CinemaBlend at the red carpet right after the SDCC panel.
Along with following the Guardians on another adventure, the movie will feature some new faces in Will Poulter’s immensely powerful Adam Warlock, Chukwudi Iwuji’s dangerous High Evolutionary and Maria Bakalova voicing the role of Cosmo the Spacedog. You can also expect to see Sylvestor Stallone back as Stakar Ogord and THE SUICIDE SQUAD’s breakout actress Daniela Melchior in an undisclosed role.
Rocket The Raccoon Gets A Heartfelt Backstory
Along with the story focusing on Starlord and Gamora’s lost romance, more fun action and comedy from the whole crew and the introduction of new characters, it was teased during SDCC that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 will finally dive into Rocket the Raccoon’s origin story. In the exclusive footage shown at the panel, an image of Baby Rocket teased this. Additionally while writer/director James Gunn spoke about the movie, he said the resourceful raccoon will be the heart of the movie.
”I realized [Rocket the Raccoon] is the saddest creature in the universe and this is what this story is about,” Gunn said during the SDCC panel.
While we don’t know exactly how Rocket the Raccoon will be central to the last movie in the Guardians trilogy, the character certainly seems to be the key of the main plotline of the film not yet disclosed. All we’ve learned so far about Rocket is that he is a genetically enhanced Raccoon in a way that sounds like it was extremely traumatic to him. With Rocket’s backstory set to be revealed, be ready with tissues.
The GOTG Trilogy Ends Here
As the footage was shown at SDCC to a room full of Marvel fans, the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 cast took the stage high on emotions upon realizing a first look at the movie was the beginning of the end of their journey as the Marvel heroes. Pratt alongside his other castmates admitted to getting genuinely “choked up” at the first look as the audience also got foggy-eyed as well. Gunn was definite about this upcoming movie concluding what he started in 2014.
“This is a darker Guardians, I will say, this is a much darker movie than the first two movies, but it’s also an emotional movie,” Gunn told CinemaBlend during the SDCC red carpet. “It’s a story about these characters that we’ve come to know very well and we get to really see where they are going – where they’ve been going all along since the beginning of this story.”
During the panel, Gunn also said that all along the Guardians movies have been about a group of misfits who “save each other” by finding family in one another. Come summer 2023, we’ll be saying goodbye to this group of lovable heroes on the big screen who have remained some of the most complex and unique characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.