Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Has Finally Cast Its Adam Warlock

A traditional Marvel Cinematic Universe movie includes one or two mid/post-credits scenes, but 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 squeezed in five! One of them showed Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign people, creating a new being whose name is Adam and whom she intends to use to destroy the Guardians. It was confirmed by director/writer James Gunn that this will be the MCU’s version of Adam Warlock, and nearly four and a half years after Vol. 2’s release, today brings word that Detroit actor Will Poulter will play the character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

This casting update comes from Deadline, which reports that James Gunn and the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 team began their search for the actor to bring Adam Warlock to life back in August. Poulter was among several actors who met for the “highly coveted part,” and while Gunn and executives took their time deciding who would score the role, Poulter test was reportedly “too good to pass on.” According to THR’s Borys Kit, Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page was considered to play Adam, while 1917’s George MacKay was “on the shortlist.”

James Gunn confirmed that Will Poulter has come for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 with the following tweet:

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Will Poulter is the first new actor to sign onto Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with the rest of the cast so far consisting of the following familiar faces: Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Dave Bautista’s Drax, Vin Diesel’s Groot, Bradley Cooper’s Rocket, Pom Klementieff’s Mantis, Karen Gillan’s Nebula, Sean Gunn’s Kraglin and Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha. Along with his role as Phillip Krauss in 2017’s Detroit, Poulter’s other notable credits include two Maze Runner movies, The Revenant, War Machine, Midsommar and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. He’ll soon be seeing starring alongside Michael Keaton in the Hulu miniseries Dopesick.

Will Poulter in Detroit

(Image credit: Annapurna Pictures)

Adam Warlock debuted as the enigmatic Him in 1967’s Fantastic Four #66-67, and he was revamped with his current name in 1972’s Marvel Premiere #1. The comics version of the character was created by a group of Earth scientists called the Enclave to be the perfect human being, but after rebelling against his creators and getting into a skirmish with Thor, he embarked into space, becoming one of Marvel’s most important cosmic figures. Adam also acquired the Soul Gem (now known as the Soul Stone) early on, paving the way for him to clash with Thanos and play a big role in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline and its follow-up stories. There have also been times when a darker version of Adam called The Magus has popped up, with one of these incarnations being a future version of the character who led the Church of Universal Truth.

Obviously there will be some major differences between the MCU's Adam Warlock and his comics counterpart, particularly since Will Poulter's version is now a product of Sovereign science instead of hailing from Earth. Also, with Thanos dead and the Infinity Stones in the main MCU timeline being destroyed, it stands to reason we won’t see Poulter’s version of Adam hold the Soul Stone. Nevertheless, a lot of Marvel fans have wanted to see Adam in the MCU for a long time, and there was even a cocoon seen within The Collector’s museum in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy inspired by the one the character uses in the comics to recuperate. Now Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is providing the opportunity for Adam to shine in a cinematic setting, and given his prominence in the comics, it’s a good bet he could appear in other cosmic-oriented MCU stories.

We’ll learn what’s in store for Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is released on May 6, 2023, with filming expected to begin next month. Learn what else the MCU is priming for the silver screen with our upcoming Marvel movies guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.