It’ll be another year and a half before it arrives, but on Monday, Nov. 8, director James Gunn posted a tweet confirming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has officially begun filming.
“It’s been a strange & long & at times challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful. Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting,” Gunn wrote.
Gunn, who directed the first two Guardians Of The Galaxy films, shared an on-set Polaroid from the first day of shooting. Along with veterans Dave Bautista (Drax), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Sean Gunn (Kraglin), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Karen Gillan (Nebula), and Zoe Saldana (Gamora), the photo shows newcomers Will Poulter, who is set to play Adam Warlock, and Chukwudi Iwuji in an unannounced and secret role.
Helming Guardians Vol. 3 completes an unexpected rebound for Gunn. In July 2018, the director was removed from leading the third installment after controversial tweets dating back to 2008 were unearthed. Gunn posted attempts at satire that amounted at the least to unfunny and disturbing references to rape and pedophilia. According to Fox News, the reveal was to “knock him down a few pegs” because Gunn was an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. In March 2019, however, Gunn was reinstated after meeting with Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn on multiple occasions. Horn was apparently satisfied with his remorse in private meetings, a public apology, and subsequent handling of the situation.
Gunn tweeted that after working with Iwuji in the D.C. Comics spinoff, Peacemaker, he’s cast the actor in “the role most every big-name actor in Hollywood wanted.” What that role might be is the source of serious speculation.
One candidate is the Silver Surfer, who’s been rumored to have an entire film following the 2019 Disney/Fox merger. With a new Fantastic Four movie confirmed in development, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could pave the way by introducing Silver Surfer.
Silver Surfer is also the herald of Galactus, a big antagonist rumored to arise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A cosmic entity known for consuming entire planets, Galactus is also associated with the Fantastic Four. Now that the MCU has expanded into its more cosmic side with The Eternals, it might be time to bring Galactus into the mix, setting up as Marvel’s next big villain after Thanos.
One character that Marvel fans have been eager to make an appearance is Beta Ray Bill. Bill is a Korbinite, a race who once inhabited a peaceful planetary empire destroyed by demons. Bill led the survivors in a galactic escape and was discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. after ending up in our solar system. Bill is thus an ally of Marvel heroes, despite a monstrous appearance. There’s been also been hints to Bill’s appearance throughout the MCU — a bust displayed on the Grandmaster’s (Jeff Goldblum) palace in Thor: Ragnarok and the introduction of the Korbinites in Avengers: Endgame.
Whoever this mystery character might be will reveal a lot about the Guardians Vol. 3 plot. Until the reveal, fans will have to continue to theorize and keep an eye out for hints. For now, they’ll have to be satisfied that the film is in production and that all seems to be satisfactory on set.
“Day 1 in the can. Honestly could not have started off better. Hit the ground running with a delicate, emotional, funny, wild, complicated scene and everyone absolutely killed,” Pratt posted on Instagram, alongside the same photo.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2023.