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SYFY WIRE Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

James Gunn's 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' kicks off production following several hiccups

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 heads for theaters on May 5, 2023.

By Josh Weiss
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Following several production hiccups — including the brief firing of writer/director James Gunn — Marvel Studios has finally kicked off principal photography for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (scheduled for release in early May of 2023). Thankfully, the script and rockin' soundtrack (a staple of the series) have been ready to roll for quite some time now. It was just a matter of getting the band together.

Gunn celebrated the start of production with a picture of himself surrounded by the movie's principal cast members: Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Dave Bautista (Drax), Sean Gunn (who plays the Ravager Kraglin and provides the motion-capture for the Bradley Cooper-voiced Rocket Raccoon), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), and a previously-unknown addition to the ensemble — Peacemaker's Chukwudi Iwuji (his character is still TBD). The inclusion of Gamora is also major news since the character's fate was left ambiguous at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

"It’s been a strange and long and, at times, challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful," the filmmaker wrote on Twitter Monday. "Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting."

Gunn was briefly terminated from the project in the summer of 2018 after a number of controversial tweets resurfaced online. His ensuing status as a free agent allowed Warner Bros. to woo the director over to the DC Extended Universe, a partnership that led to this past summer's The Suicide Squad. He was ultimately rehired for GOTG Vol. 3 in March of 2019.

"Our designers and visual development geniuses are busy creating new, fantastic designs of other worlds and alien beings," he teased earlier this year. "I'm not sure the galaxy is big enough for all this magic. This. One. Is. Huge. I'm excited."

**SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Eternals!**

No Vol. 3 plot details have been released, but we do wonder if Eros (Harry Styles) and Pip the Troll (Patton Oswalt) will factor into the story after showing up in the Eternals mid-credits scene to the classic rock stylings of Foreigner.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 heads for theaters on May 5, 2023. The threequel will be preceded by a Guardians holiday special (also written and directed by Gunn) on Disney+ next year. A Groot-based spinoff is also in development for streaming.

A number of MCU films were recently pushed down the release calendar for the umpteenth time, but Vol. 3 was not one of them.