Published April 28, 2023

Everything We Learned at the 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' Red Carpet

The 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' cast and crew introduced new characters like Adam Warlock, teased Rocket's origin, shared some fun stories, and much more on the red carpet.

Ahead of the film's May 5 release, Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 cast and crew stopped by Los Angeles for the star-studded red carpet premiere. Writer-director James Gunn joined stars Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Vin Diesel (Groot), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), and more for an evening filled with insights into the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Below, we've assembled just a few of the best moments from the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 red carpet.

New Characters: Adam Warlock, High Evolutionary, and More!

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, fans will meet a few new characters, including Will Poulter's Adam Warlock and Chukwudi Iwuji's High Evolutionary. On the subject of joining the MCU, Poulter said, "Honestly, more than anything else, it's a real honor to be invited into this family. The Guardians family are such a tightknit group. They've been together for ten years, so for them to welcome me with open arms and treat me like one of their own, I'm very grateful. I hope people are pleased with Adam and they enjoy his journey."

"Adam Warlock is a fan-favorite character and we've always wanted to include him in one of the movies," Executive Producer Simon Hatt revealed. "Obviously, we teased him at the end of [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2] and I don't think anyone's going to be disappointed with him in the movie."

"Part of his character's journey is that he has to learn as he goes along," Ayesha actor Elizabeth Debicki teased.

Iwuji also issued a warning about his villainous High Evolutionary: "I'm not a very nice guy in this… This guy is not a nice guy—at all!" he teased. "I am, by far, the scariest guy that they've ever faced. By far! There's no competition. Everything else has been sort of pleasant compared to this guy… Honestly, the script was so rich and juicy and the character reminded me of my favorite villains and stuff, so I was really able to tap into that and let the imagination go crazy."

Meanwhile, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige weighed in on both of the new additions. "The High Evolutionary was on James' list for a while, and Adam Warlock has been there since—I don't remember now, frankly. He may have been in an original draft of [Guardians of the Galaxy] 1," he recalled. "He was certainly a part of the discussion—a big part of the discussion—on [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2], and then we seeded him a little bit in 2. And then finally, introducing him in this movie, and that really—I'm excited for the fans to see it, but like Mantis in Vol. 2 and seeing how she's grown to now, we are meeting Adam Warlock in this movie and I'm excited for people to see what Will has done with this and excited to see where it can go."

Adam Warlock and the High Evolutionary won't be the only new characters in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Miriam Shor will play Recorder Vim, who—like the High Evolutionary—"is not so nice. She's a villain! She is! Which, if you're a sci-fi fan like myself, the villain is who you want to play. So yeah, I'm a little worried that after my kids see this movie, they won't let me come home."

Likewise, Nathan Fillion will play Master Karja. "I wanted to take a break from playing an armed authority figure and go out into space and play an armed authority figure. I thought that that'd be better," he joked. "Only instead of a police officer uniform, I wear what looks like a keloid scar, like a big basket of bread. Something!"

"It took a team of guys shoving pieces onto you, and it all straps onto a vest that's kind of heavy, so it's all hanging on your shoulders, but then I'm looking around and I'm seeing Karen Gillan, I'm seeing Dave Bautista, I'm seeing Zoe [Saldana], I'm seeing these guys go into makeup for hours just to now start working… I don't know where they go in their minds for that time, but I just tried to find for myself—I couldn't complain," he added.

Additionally, Tara Strong revealed she has a role to play in the film—and she won't be reprising her beloved Loki role. "Well, I might be in it! It's not Miss Minutes," she teased. "I can't say who it is—or I could, but then I'd have to prune you!"

Rocket's Origins

Before Gunn wraps up his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, he has big plans for Rocket, whose origin story will be revealed in the upcoming film. "I think, from the beginning, Rocket was my entry into the Guardians in terms of creatively," he explained. "When Marvel first came to me and they talked to me about perhaps doing this movie, I wasn't certain. I thought maybe it would come off like Bugs Bunny in the middle of the Avengers or something silly like that, and as I was driving home from the meeting, I sat there and I said, 'Well, wait a second. If there was a raccoon that was talking and shooting people with machine guns, how would it have come to be?' And I realized it was just the saddest story that I could imagine. That was, for me, the seeds of the entire franchise that have driven all three movies and the special and everything else they've done."  

"I think [Gunn] had always had this mind, even when we first talked about it years ago," Cooper said of Gunn's plan for Rocket. "You never know if it's ever going to come to fruition and then, when I read the script, I couldn't believe just to the extent of which what he had envisioned years ago, he had actually followed through with, so it was really gratifying, and to be able to work with everybody on this… yeah, I love this movie. I'm excited for everybody to see it."

"[Rocket] entered into the first movie, and I think he could have come across as two-dimensional, and then you started to see his heart. Now, once you understand the origins of all the behavior, I think it changes the way you perceive him if you go back and watch the movies again with this knowledge," he added.

"The Guardians has always been about the characters. I mean, all of Marvel has, but in particular, these characters… which are so unlikely," Feige shared. "In the first two movies, you were crying over all the characters and Groot and, in this movie, crying for all of them and really learning about Rocket. That's one of the things James has said from the beginning. I think he decided to do this franchise because he realized how he could give empathy to this little raccoon who insists he's not a raccoon."

"[Bring] two boxes of Kleenex. Two boxes, yeah," Hatt warned. "Rocket was the character that essentially allowed James to ground the Guardians movies. He was like, 'If you can believe this raccoon is a living, breathing, emotionally centered, grounded character, then everything else will follow.' So completing Rocket's story was so important to James, and I think that's why he picked it as the plot of the third movie."

Vin Diesel's Secret Groot Script

While showing off his sharp Groot-inspired suit jacket, Vin Diesel also let fans in on a little secret: he gets a special script that translates Groot's iconic line. "He conveys a lot three monosyllabic words," he said with a laugh. "So I'm lucky in that James Gunn would always write a script that had the line that was intended. So I'm the only person in the world that has this script, but there's a line of dialogue for every single 'I am Groot.' Sometimes, it's a whole paragraph. I'm really lucky. So I've got to give it up to James."

Nebula's Evolution

As the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 explores Rocket's past, the film will also move Nebula forward. "We're seeing a very different side to Nebula this time around," Gillan teased. "Now that Thanos has been eliminated from her life, and he's the source of all her trauma, she's actually starting to develop a little bit more of a lighter personality. There's a little more levity to her, a little more sense of humor, which is new kind of space for her to live in. As for Gamora, it's almost like they've switched places in an interesting way. Nebula is now the more evolved character with more compassion, and so she kind of needs to help Gamora in that respect."

"Even though Nebula was very serious at the beginning, she was someone that was dealing with a lot of the same issues that everybody deals with, so I've always related to her," she shared. "It's just been fun to inject her with a little bit more of my own sense of humor this time around."

Although Gillan shaved her head to play Nebula in the first film, she has since worn a bald cap to achieve Nebula's iconic look. "I kind of negotiated more hair with each movie, so I get to keep my hair, but it does mean that I add an extra hour onto the makeup time in the morning, because they have to wrap it under a bald cap. So you win some, you lose some!" she joked.

Every Dog Has His (or Her) Day

Cosmo the Spacedog debuted in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, but she will have a bigger role to play in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Cosmo actor Maria Bakalova described the character as "a very loyal girl ever since the Guardians have taken over Knowhere. She's going to show her dedication and love towards them."

"There's definitely, probably one of the characters who is more connected to Cosmo because they spend more time together, and maybe they're going to do something for each other," she added. "It's going to be a beautiful movie, an exciting movie with huge heart in it."

And Cosmo wasn't the only dog on set! "The Knowhere set was so big and I actually used to bring my dog River to set every day and he loved it," Hatt shared. "He would run around. Don't tell the production designer, but I'm pretty sure he peed in a couple corners of the set."

Actors in Action

Like any good MCU film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be packed with action, and Mantis actor Pom Klementieff made sure she'd be part of it. "I've been harassing everyone at Marvel for years to do some more action, so finally, I do it! I did it in the Holiday Special; I fight with a candy cane. In this movie, I kick ass! There is no going back for Mantis. Now she kicks ass forever. Kick names, take ass, you know?" she said.

Poulter also praised the action, as well as the stunt team's role in creating it. "Our stunt people were so, so talented. Heidi [Moneymaker], our coordinator—unbelievable. Very patient with me! I needed a lot of patience," he recalled. "They were really, really supportive. I haven't done a ton of stunts stuff, and thankfully, Ben Jenkins—who doubled me—he was able to make me look cooler than I ever could. Anytime I couldn't do something, Ben would jump in and make it look cool."

Silly Stories

Like the previous films, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will feature Gunn's signature humor. However, there was plenty of laughter to be found behind the scenes, as well. "I adore [Will Poulter]. I adore him. Actually, I don't think I've ever laughed so much on a set in my whole life," Debicki shared. "He's very, very, very funny… I just adore him, and it's so funny, because we are dressed in these very, very tight costumes, so laughing is extremely—and I was kind of bent over and I was snapping things and things were popping because I was just laughing a lot."

Linda Cardellini, who voices Lylla the Otter, also shared her personal connection to her character's name. "My daughter's name is Lilah too! My daughter's name is Lilah-Rose," she revealed. "There's a lot of Lylas out there, but it's a great name."

Whistling Contest

When Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 picks up, the team will be missing part of its crew: Yondu Udonta, Peter Quill's surrogate father. Still, his legacy will live on through Kraglin, who inherited Yondu's whistle-controlled Yaka Arrow.

"I spent a lot of time learning how to do the whistle, because I had the fake teeth in, right?" Yondu actor Michael Rooker recalled. "So it was really difficult! I think I spent at least two or three weeks kind of relearning how to whistle." He even showed off his improved whistling skills on the carpet!

Kraglin actor Sean Gunn also provided an update on his character's Yaka Arrow training. "Well, it's very nerve-wracking, because Kraglin has not mastered the arrow yet," he explained. "As we last saw him, he was puncturing Drax. So, in this movie, we'll see how he's getting along with all of that. It's tough, man! It's tough trying to be a Super Hero."

"I can tell you that my own analysis of my whistle is more accurate than Michael's is. He likes to inflate his ability to whistle and do pretty much anything, but yeah, it's not going to be great," he added, before showing off his own whistle.

Honoring the Fans

While the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 cast clearly had a great time making the film, they hope the end result will honor the fans that have gotten them this far. "I think, out of all the different franchises, Guardians is the one that's for the oddballs, the rebels, the outcasts, the geeks. This is a group of outsiders and I think, at the end of the day, most of us feel that way, and so the Guardians speak to them," Gunn said. "I think each of the Guardians has a different personality and everybody in their life knows a Nebula, they know a Drax, they know a Rocket—maybe not a Groot, but maybe!"

"I just want to say thank you for all your support. You're the only reason we're here. I'm just grateful to be a part of this," Cooper shared.

Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt also thanked fans, but made sure to issue a word of caution first: "Enjoy the movie! Go to the bathroom before so you don't have to get up and miss anything. Get some popcorn. We made this just for you. You're the best fans in the world. We love you so much. Thank you! We've loved being your Guardians of the Galaxy."

End of an Era

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will close out the trilogy that Gunn started all the way back in the first film, which released nearly a decade ago in 2014. On the subject of ending this story, he said, "I just wanted to be absolutely sure that we honored the characters, that we honored the fans, and we gave each of the characters just the best sendoff that we possibly could. I thought it was really important that I wanted to tell Rocket's story, find out where he came from… so I'm excited about it. I can't wait for people to see it."

"I hope what I hope for with every movie: I hope that people go, they see it in a theater, that they're sitting with someone that they care about (or somebody maybe they don't even know), but they walk out feeling a little better about the people next to them than before they walked in, that they feel better about themselves, maybe a little bit," he shared. "You know, I think this movie is about accepting ourselves. The first movie was about the relationship with the mother, second movie was about the relationship with the father, this one is about the relationship to the self. So hopefully, that's something that resonates with audiences."

Hatt also weighed in, saying, "Well, after ten years making the movies, it was obviously incredibly emotional just to end all those characters' stories and to give everyone an emotional payoff, which is obviously a really exciting thing to do. After everything that they've been through in Endgame and the events of the first and second movie, they are a really strong team and it's just exciting to see how that ends and we're excited for everyone to check it out, too."

However, Executive Producer Louis D'Esposito ended his interview with a tease: "Well, maybe it's not the end! We might see Guardians… but this specific team, right? Yeah. This movie is so heartfelt and so much fun at the same time. This is the best of the three."

Save the galaxy (again, for the third time) in theaters on May 5, 2023. Get your tickets today!


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