James Gunn Explains Why He Cast Will Poulter As Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock’s arrival in the MCU has been at least six years in the making, and this summer, the character will finally make his theatrical debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 with Will Poulter in the role. Before Poulter’s casting was announced in late 2021, fans may have had completely different ideas about who could embody the cosmic superhero onscreen. But while speaking with Empire, writer/director James Gunn discussed why Poulter was the right man for the job.

“People online were saying, ‘Oh, Tom Cruise should be Adam Warlock,’” recalled Gunn. “I wanted somebody who was youthful, and I wanted the person who had the dramatic chops and the comedic chops, not only for this movie but for what Marvel will use Adam Warlock for in the future.”

Neither Poulter nor Marvel have confirmed Warlock’s appearance in any upcoming projects beyond Vol. 3. But given his significance in the comics, which includes meaty roles in the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline and its follow-up crossover events, his return to the MCU seems like a foregone conclusion. Plus, Gunn himself admits that “He could become this really important character” in later installments.

Marvel began teasing Warlock’s introduction in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s post-credits scene, when he was still being grown in a cocoon by the Sovereign race and their leader, Ayesha. She wanted to use her creation to get revenge on Peter Quill in his team. At this point, more than five years have passed in the MCU. But despite everything that’s happened since then (including the Blip), Ayesha still isn’t letting go of her grudge. So when we first meet Warlock in Vol. 3, his prime directive is to destroy the Guardians on his master’s orders.

“He’s definitely not a good guy,” confirmed Gunn. “What we’re seeing is the infant form of Warlock, newly out of the cocoon, and he does not understand life very well. He’s basically a baby.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters on May 5.

Are you happy with Poulter’s casting in the film? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

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