SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” in theaters May 5.
The film’s director, James Gunn, confirmed as much at a press junket for the upcoming sequel. As it turns out, the cosmic hero almost played a major role in the film, but was shelved even after a great deal of work had been done to adapt him for the screen.
The news comes courtesy of /Film, which had the chance to sit down with Gunn and grill him about Adam Warlock, whose comic book incarnation has long played a pivotal role in Marvel’s cosmic tales:
“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.”
At one point, the chances of seeing Adam Warlock in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” seemed decent enough. In the comics, the character is the genetic twin of Ayesha, the main antagonist in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” He also plays an important role in the Infinity Gauntlet arc, a six-issue series that pitted the mad titan Thanos against the galaxy’s heroes. Elements of that arc have been adapted into a two-part film series by Marvel Studios, the first installment of which is scheduled to release in 2018. With all that in mind, it’s no wonder Gunn tried so hard to fit the character into the sequel.
The question fans are left with is when will Adam Warlock make his big screen debut? Gunn claims he saved the hero for later, but does that mean “Guardians of the Galaxy 3,” or some later, yet-announced film? It seems very likely he’ll appear in the threequel.
Speaking to ScreenRant — without naming the character — Gunn addressed which Guardians favorite he wasn’t able to include in the film. Gunn said, “It’s the Guardian who’s teased at the end of the movie. That was a fuller story in two and I thought I’d save it for a feature film.”
Additionally, in an interview with io9, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige strongly suggested the cosmic hero would appear in “Vol. 3,” saying, “[Adam Warlock’s arrival] will not be until Guardians 3. Adam is not a part of Infinity War, which of course he is in the comics, but James [Gunn] did always really like Adam Warlock, and our version of Infinity War is the culmination of all the stories we told up to this point.”
Adam Warlock first appeared under the moniker “Him” in “Fantastic Four” #66 in 1967. The character became known as Adam Warlock in “Marvel Premiere” #1 five years later. The character was created by the villainous Enclave regime and did battle with Thor before being given the name Warlock by the High Evolutionary, a geneticist-turned-genetic anomaly. The High Evolutionary tasked the hero with saving a planet called Counter-Earth, where he is befriended by a group of teens and given the name Adam.
Debuting in theaters on May 5, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a production of Marvel Studios directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.