Will Adam Warlock be Black? Truth behind ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ rumors after James Gunn quashes casting news

Will Adam Warlock be Black? Truth behind ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ rumors after James Gunn quashes casting news
James Gunn (Getty Images) and Adam Warlock (Hero Fandom)

James Gunn, the director of Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' franchise has dropped a hint about the MCU debut of Adam Warlock. In the tweet, Gunn hinted that the actor playing Warlock may not necessarily be White. To be clear, this isn't a hint as much as Gunn responding to casting rumors, but MCU fans have taken it to be a sign from the director. If you do read between the lines, it could mean more diversity is coming to the MCU, which isn't a bad thing after the roaring success of 'Black Panther'.

Warlock was first hinted at in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2', as a post-credits scene. It was a small throwaway line but sent fans into a tizzy as it hinted that Marvel would expand its cosmic roster. The character, known for his gold skin, also has close ties to the soul gem, Marvel comic's version of the infinity stones. Will the character debut in the next 'Guardians of the Galaxy' film? According to Gunn, possibly...


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The third film in the franchise is currently in pre-production and is scheduled for release in 2023. Filming is set to begin sometime in late 2021 and will see the return of the main cast with the addition of Thor. Gunn is also working on a 'Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special' set for release in 2022. 

Director James Gunn attends The World Premiere of the Guardians of the Galaxy at the Dolby Theatre. July 21, 2014 Hollywood, CA (Getty Images)

‘In what world would I only cast a Caucasian?’

News of Warlock's casting first came from The Illuminerdi. The website reported that “Marvel is looking to cast a thirty-year-old Caucasian man,” who is described as both a “superhero type” and a “Zac Efron type”, as Adam Warlock." Within minutes of the news making its way across social media, Gunn firmly rebuffed the rumors with a not-so-subtle tweet. Gunn said, “There is no casting underway for Volume 3. And in what world would I only cast a “Caucasian” if the character has gold skin? And if I wanted a Zac Efron type wouldn’t I go to Zac Efron? Where do you get this nonsense?”



The tweet is simply a response to the casting rumors, but many MCU fans have taken it to be a hint from the director. "CONFIRMED: Adam Warlock will be black loll" one user tweeted. Another tweeted, "Honestly? I read a decent amount of Cosmic marvel back in the day. We're talking Annihilation and Conquest and a whole lot of Guardians from after Annihilation. Would be fine with a black man with luscious hair for Adam Warlock." A few others had suggestions for Gun, such as one user who said, "Terry Crews would be a great Adam Warlock."





The reveal of Adam Warlock in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (IMDb)


Will Warlock be Black? Possibly...

It is entirely possible that Gunn could be hinting at a Black actor taking on the role of Warlock. It's not out of the realm of impossibility. Thanks to the leak of 'Zack Snyder's Justice League' we know that Harry Lennix plays the Martian Manhunter. Since the Manhunter has green skin, it doesn't really matter who plays the role. Similarly, Warlock has gold skin and could easily be played by an actor of color. Disney and Marvel also have a history of casting actors of color in traditionally white roles. 

Samuel L Jackson took on the mantle of Nick Fury, who was originally White in the comics. Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, Tessa Thomspon took on the role of the Valkyrie, and Zendeya has been cast as the MCU's version of Mary Jane. Marvel has also been keen to expand the diversity of its cast and as 'Black Panther' showed it is very much possible. When you put all those facts together, the casting of a person of color as Adam Warlock is very much possible. Whether the tweet by Gunn is a hint or not, only time will tell. 

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