The Marvel Cinematic Universe has absorbed yet another actor into its ever-expanding collection of stars.
As first revealed by The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed in a tweet by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn, Will Poulter is joining the cast of the film as classic Marvel character Adam Warlock.
Poulter’s first major Hollywood role was snotty Cousin Eustace in The Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, and he’s since appeared in The Revenant, Midsommar, and the Maze Runner franchise. You might also recognise him from the “You guys are getting paid?” meme (which originated from a scene in the Jason Sudeikis comedy We’re The Millers).
In the Marvel comics, Adam Warlock is a “perfect” human being created by a team of scientists, and has a long-standing connection to the Soul Stone — the first and most mysterious of the six Infinity Stones, the shiny galactic objects around which the first few phases of the MCU revolved. Warlock, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the 1960s, was a key figure in storylines featuring Thanos and the Stone’s power, which inspired the MCU’s long story arc focused on Thanos and his quest to acquire all the Stones and “snap” half of life out of existence. (In the MCU, the Soul Stone is the one kept on the bleak planet Vormir, which requires the sacrifice of a loved one in order to obtain the Stone.)
But as hinted in the post-credits scene at the end of Guardians Vol. 2, the MCU’s Adam will be one of the genetically engineered golden people of the Sovereign, a creation of the High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) whose purpose is to defeat the Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn, who shared previously that Adam Warlock is one of his favourite characters, originally had him playing a significant role in the second installment but cut him because the story was already overstuffed. Marvel Studios overlord Kevin Feige has said in the past that Warlock will be a “pretty important” figure in the future of the Marvel “cosmic universe.”
The third Guardians film is the first to be set after the Blip — the five-year period between Thanos’ successful Snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War and the return of all Snapped life during Thanos’ lost battle with the Avengers in Endgame — and will also be squarely in the Multiversal era of the MCU’s current Phase (Phase Four, if you’ve lost track).
Safe to say Poulter’s entering the Marvel universe at an intense time.