Adam Warlock’s MCU debut has been a long time coming. A space weirdo with one of Marvel Comics most interesting histories, Warlock was teased in a post-credit scene to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and, played by Will Poulter, will make his debut in May’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In the comics, Warlock had strong connections to Thanos and was a major player in all the Infinity Gem business, including leading an eclectic team known as the Infinity Watch. With the Infinity Saga in the books, Warlock’s MCU path would seem to be headed in a much different direction.
That direction, however, may not be very clearly defined in Warlock’s debut. According to director James Gunn, while Warlock’s mission in the film seems pretty black and white (the Sovereign want the Guardians taken out), the character has quite a bit of learning to do about the way the universe works and may ultimately be a little more grey than the trailer makes him appear.
It’s kind of more complicated than that. But he’s definitely not a good guy. What we’re seeing is the infant form of Warlock, newly out of the cocoon, and he does not understand life very well. He’s basically a baby.James Gunn
When Poulter was cast as Warlock, the internet did a collective double-take as the young actor’s name wasn’t one tossed around in association with the role. “People online were saying, ‘Oh, Tom Cruise should be Adam Warlock,’”, said Gunn, who had his own ideas about what type of talent he wanted in the role. “I wanted somebody who was youthful,” explained Gunn, “and I wanted the person who had the dramatic chops and the comedic chops, not only for this movie but for what Marvel will use Adam Warlock for in the future. He could become this really important character.”
Of course, part of that future could ultimately be joining up with the Guardians, as his character has done in the comics. Gunn‘s made it clear that Vol. 3 is the last ride for this group and for him, but given the overwhelming popularity of the franchise, it’s hard to imagine Marvel Studios letting everyone ride off into the sunset and closing up shop on the Guardians.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to hit theaters May 5th.