A mainstay of the Marvel cosmos almost made it into the second Guardians of the Galaxy adventure.
According to Slashfilm, that character was the artificially created superbeing Adam Warlock. Writer/director James Gunn hinted a few months ago that his first treatment for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 originally featured another major character that he ended up cutting to streamline the story. Speaking yesterday at the press junket for the film in Los Angeles, Gunn revealed that the character was Warlock:
“I love Adam Warlock. He’s one of my favorite characters. In all truth, I wrote an early treatment where I had Adam Warlock as a part...this is your big scoop, because I don’t think I’ve told anybody this...It was Adam Warlock. He was a big part of the screenplay and I realized it was one character too many. And I adored the character. I adored what we had done with him. I think we did something really creative and unique with Adam Warlock. But it was one character too many and I didn’t want to lose Mantis and Mantis was more organically part of the movie anyway. So I decided to save him for later."
But what does "later" mean? At the same junket, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Slashfilm that Gunn was developing Adam Warlock for a future film set in the cosmic part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At first glance it would seem reasonable to think that he could show up in Avengers: Infinity War, given that Warlock plays a substantial role in The Infinity Gauntlet, the comic book arc that is the inspiration for that film. But Gunn was quick to confirm that Warlock will not be in Infinity War:
“He’s not. He’s not in Infinity War. But he will be a part of the future Marvel cosmic universe and a pretty important part of that.”
It's most likely, then, that Warlock will make his screen debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. With Gunn back on board already for a third film and having already expressed his interest in using the character, the prospects for introducing Adam in the next chapter are stronger than ever (and we have another reason to believe this too, which we won't reveal here for now).
Incidentally, that shot (see below) in the first Guardians of the Galaxy inside the Collector's museum, in which we saw a cocoon that many assumed was that of Adam Warlock? Not the case, according to Gunn.
In case you're reading this and have no idea who the heck we're talking about, Adam Warlock first came on the Marvel Comics scene in 1967. Conceived by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (although he was later developed considerably by Roy Thomas and Jim Starlin), he was an artificial being, created by human scientists, who ended up escaping to space and meeting an entity called the High Evolutionary that granted him immense powers and gifted him with the Soul Gem, one of the six Infinity Gems (it should be noted that the MCU version, the Soul Stone, is the only one of the six we have yet to see in the films).
Warlock has been a major part of the Marvel Universe ever since, clashing with various other characters good and bad, teaming with the Avengers and the Guardians, and generally being a formidable and ongoing presence in the Marvel canon. And in just a few years -- in the next phase of Marvel movies after the Infinity War saga closes out Phase Three -- he'll join the MCU.