Will Poulter will star as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, director James Gunn confirmed on Monday. Warlock, a character first introduced in the late 1960s, was teased at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, and will make a full appearance in the next movie. Poulter starred in Netflix's interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and in the 2013 comedy We're The Millers, his breakout project.
Poulter's casting was first reported by Deadline, and Gunn later confirmed the news. "As you guys know I often strike down false rumors, so... um... Welcome to the Guardians family, Will Poulter. He's an amazing actor and wonderful guy. See you in a couple weeks," he wrote. A fan later praised Gunn for the casting, prompting Gunn to add, "He really is something incredible."
As you guys know I often strike down false rumors, so… um…— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 11, 2021
Welcome to the Guardians family, Will Poulter. He’s an amazing actor and wonderful guy. See you in a couple weeks. #AdamWarlock #GotGVol3 https://t.co/RaNeGDIC0E
Sources told Deadline that Gunn and Marvel Studios executives began a "lengthy search" for the actor who would play Warlock at the end of August. Poulter's test was reportedly "too good" to pass on casting him. The Hollywood Reporter also noted that Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page and 1917 actor George MacKay made the shortlist.
Warlock was teased during the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 post-credits scene. The character dates back to a two-issue story in Fantastic Four in 1967 when scientists tried to create a perfect human called Him. In 1972, the character was renamed Adam Warlock, then Jim Starlin revived the character in 1975. The character continued evolving over time and was featured in the 1991 series The Infinity Gauntlet. Warlock has never been portrayed in a live-action movie before but was seen in several animated shows, including the 2015-2019 Guardians of the Galaxy series.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 will hit theaters on May 3, 2023. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and Karen Gillan are all returning. Gunn is also back as director, after having helped the first two Guardians movies. Gunn also helms The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which will debut in December 2022.
As for Poulter, he is best known for his roles in the movies Detroit, The Revenant, Detroit, We're the Millers, Midsommar and The Maze Runner. This year, he had a memorable part in an episode of Barry Jenkins' The Underground Railroad miniseries. He also has a part in Dopesick, the Hulu miniseries about the opioid epidemic. The first episode will be released on Wednesday.