Guardians Of The Galaxy 3’s James Gunn Makes Clarification About Daniela Melchior’s Role

Daniela Melchior
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s cast has grown by one. Yesterday, writer/director James Gunn confirmed that Daniela Melchior, who he previously worked with on The Suicide Squad, will appear in the upcoming Marvel movie. For now, Melchior’s role in Vol. 3 is being kept secret, but Gunn has taken to social media to clarify about he’s previously said on what was her then-rumored involvement.

You might recall that in October 2021, a rumor surfaced that Daniela Melchior was joining Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to play Moondragon. James Gunn debunked this rumor with a resounding “FALSE.” When the Guardians Of The Galaxy & Thor Updates Twitter account recently alleged that Gunn had previously said Melchior wasn’t appearing in Vol. 3, the filmmaker responded with the below tweet

I never said she wasn’t part of the cast. I said she wasn’t Moondragon. That is still true.

So let’s put this one to rest now. While James Gunn may not have been able to directly confirm earlier on that Daniel Melchior will participate in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, he’s always made it perfectly clear that she wouldn’t be bringing Moondragon to life. For those unfamiliar with the character, in the comics, Moondragon is also known as Heather Douglas, the daughter of Arthur Douglas, the man who was transformed into Drax the Destroyer. Initially thought to have died with her mom, Heather actually survived the car crash and was taken in by Mentor, Thanos’ father, to be raised on Titan by the monks of Shao-Lom. Through their training, Heather became a skilled martial artist and also developed telepathic and telekinetic abilities.

At this point, there’s been no indication that Moondragon will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, although that’s not to say she could never appear in the MCU. Dave Bautista’s version of Drax the Destroyer has suffered through his wife and daughter being killed by Thanos’ forces under Ronan the Accuser’s command, but maybe his daughter could have somehow actually survived like Heather did in the comics. 

However, given that the MCU’s Drax the Destroyer is an alien rather than a human soul put into a powerful body, it stands to reason that the MCU’s Moondragon would also need to be an alien, and given that Titan has been devoid of life in the MCU for a long time, the origin of her powers would need to be altered too. But perhaps most importantly of all, given that Vol. 3 will be Bautista’s final outing as Drax and there’s been no talk of the role being cast, if Moondragon isn’t being played by a different actress in the threequel, then it’s highly unlikely the character will be brought into this franchise unless her ties to Drax are completely severed.

In any case, Daniel Melchior is the third major actor to be added to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with Will Poulter having come aboard to play Adam Warlock and Peacemaker’s Chukwudi Iwuji playing a character he’s described as “powerful” and “extremely complex.” They’ll be joining familiar faces like the aforementioned Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Elizabeth Debicki and Sylvester Stallone.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5, 2023, but you don’t have to wait that long to see the core team again. They’ll appear later this summer in Thor: Love and Thunder, and then star in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which Disney+ subscribers will be able to stream in December.

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.