Ahead of the film’s release, Agents of Fandom’s Editor-In-Chief, TJ Zwarych attended the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Press Conference with the cast and crew of the film. The all-star cast discussed the emotional and impactful journey that led them to this epic conclusion for the Guardians franchise.
With the trilogy’s conclusion on the horizon, the cast and crew came together to make a film that reflected on the long-lasting impact these characters have left on them and Marvel fans over the last ten years.
As Guardians is already a team-up trilogy, this third installment expands its cast once more. The main Guardians of the Galaxy including Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Sean Gunn, joined newcomers to the franchise, Will Poulter, Maria Bakalova, and Chukwudi Iwuji at the press conference. Director James Gunn and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also attended.
James Gunn on making the Guardians films
Starting off, James Gunn shared his favourite memories when filming the final film of the Guardians trilogy. As the director who helmed all three films, he formed a family that meant a lot to him and many Marvel fans alike:
“It’s being on set, doing bits with Chris [Pratt], talking with Chris [Pratt], seeing Chukwudi [Iwuji’s] amazing performance and goofing around with Pom [Klementieff]. I love these people.”—James Gunn on his favourite memory on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Despite his favourite memories, Gunn evoked the sadness of what he’ll miss most when wrapping up the franchise:
“I’m going to miss the characters. I have such a fondness for these characters, especially Rocket, that’s what I’ll miss the most.”—James Gunn on the saddest part of his journey on the Guardians trilogy
The wrap-up of the franchise comes from Gunn who now is co-CEO of DC Studios, which is a job similar to Kevin Feige’s over at Marvel.
The cast’s journey to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Chris Pratt led the galaxy-focused team during the run of Marvel films. When it came down to his character’s growth, the actor expressed his true understanding of Star-Lord’s journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what’s left for his character to explore:
“After the death of his mother, he spent so much time dancing around pretending to be these pop culture characters from his youth. He finally finds family with the Guardians and a purpose with his love for Gamora, but he’s never learned how to process his struggles.”—Chris Pratt on Star-Lord’s journey
Pratt also commented on his personal journey filming the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. He references the beginning, where many thought that Guardians—being the first Marvel Studios’ team-up movie after The Avengers—would flop:
“I knew going into it I wanted to have no regrets. I was present through the entire time and although it felt like a whirlwind, I felt so grateful to James [Gunn] and I wanted to remind everyone how far we’ve come. I read to the everyone the pieces where people thought the Guardians would be Marvel’s first flop. It was important for me to be present, and to coerce others into making sure they knew how wonderful we had done.”—Chris Pratt on his journey of filming the Guardians films
Pratt continued by praising James Gunn—the duo have been making films together within the Marvel Universe for over a decade now, but Pratt states his efforts to pursue making more films with Gunn:
“I’d jump at the opportunity to make more movies with him. When you’re making movies with people you love, it’s the most fun. With James [Gunn], the journey and the destination have both been incredible.”—Chris Pratt on James Gunn
Karen Gillan went on to share about her time as Nebula. Nebula truly evolved into a character that took in the Guardians as a family rather than an opponent:
“It’s like having these two families. I love these characters so much. Mantis, Rocket, Kraglin…and of course these real people are all incredible.”—Karen Gillan on her time as Nebula
“Growing with Gamora has been so amazing. We’ve kind of switched roles since the first movie, and it’s so fun to experience that together.”—Karen Gillan on Nebula’s relationship with Gamora
Pom Klementieff shared what playing Mantis meant to her and why James Gunn is the one to thank for her opportunity in the MCU:
“James Gunn changed my life. Getting to play an empath like Mantis has made me work to be more connected with everyone around me. I got to be super weird which is really fun, I love this character, and I’m so grateful to James for the opportunity.”—Pom Klementieff on playing Mantis
Mantis was revealed to be Peter Quill/Star Lord’s half-sister in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, so a new relationship between the two characters might be something to look forward to in this third film.
Sean Gunn explains the similarities between him and his character Kraglin, along with how it doesn’t differ from his relationship with his brother, James, who directed the film:
“Kraglin had to figure out what his place in the Guardians family was. I felt very similarly to the character’s journey. I was just the director’s brother here on the side, but as Kraglin became a member of the Guardians, I really began to feel like I belong with these amazing characters and people in this family.”—Sean Gunn on Kraglin
Make sure to catch our exclusive interview with Sean Gunn here.
Chukwudi Iwuji is one of three newbies joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was cast by James Gunn after starring in Peacemaker over at the DCU. Iwuji plays the newest MCU villain known as the High Evolutionary, whom he had this to say about:
“He’s a villain with a god complex, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.”—Chukwudi Iwuji on the High Evolutionary
Make sure to catch our exclusive interview with Chukwudi Iwuji here.
Many fans may recognize Will Poulter from his films We’re the Millers and Midsommar. Now he has joined the MCU as a character that was teased way back in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Poulter, a massive fan of the Marvel Universe, shared his excitement about joining the Guardians films:
“I couldn’t be made to feel more welcome. I was nervous because I was such a big fan. I love the Marvel movies, and this trilogy was the one I admired the most. To have all of these lovely people making me feel welcomed allowed something I thought would be scary, really fun instead.”—Will Poulter on joining Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The Oscar-nominated actress rose to fame in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and also starred in A24‘s Bodies Bodies Bodies. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, she’s in a mo-cap suit playing a talking dog, who audiences first saw in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. During the press conference, she talked about her experience playing Cosmo the Space Dog in Volume 3:
“Getting to be on set in mo-cap, I felt like I was a kid again. I had so much more imagination, pretending to be a dog, just playing.”— Maria Bakalova on playing Cosmo the Space Dog
James Gunn praised Bakalova’s work in the film, sharing how her commitment to learning on the set was something he adored about the actress:
“As much as we love each other, it’s still work. We get there, and as soon as we wrap, we go home and go on with our lives. Maria was with me every step of the way because she just loved learning on set. She was such a joy to be around.”—James Gunn on Maria Bakalova
Kevin Feige on making the Guardians of the Galaxy films
The big boss behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe talked about the attempt to bring the Guardians of the Galaxy to life. He states how the films represents a uniqueness in the MCU, and it’s all due to James Gunn:
“Guardians was the first movie that was completely outside the realm of The Avengers. It was really our attempt of saying ‘we don’t want to just do superhero movies, but big space movies.’ This trilogy represents something unique in the pantheon of the MCU, and it’s all because of James Gunn.”—Kevin Feige on the Guardians of the Galaxy
Kevin Feige continued to detail the riskiness of creating the Guardians of the Galaxy films:
“Making these movies always makes me nervous. The most important goal for all of these movies is to reward fans who have loved these characters their entire life, and also making them enjoyable for those who have never heard of them.”—Kevin Feige on the riskiness of the Guardians of the Galaxy films
Feige later acknowledges the hard work James Gunn has put into the Guardians films:
“James had unlimited slack to do what he wanted in this one. In the past we had talked about story things and character deaths, but this was all about telling James’ story.”—Kevin Feige on James Gunn
The Marvel Studios president lastly discussed why Drax is one of the best characters Gunn has ever written and how it helped Dave Bautista grow as an actor in the MCU:
“After watching Guardians 3, it confirmed to me that not only is Drax one of the best characters James [Gunn] has ever written, but Dave Bautista has become one of the very best actors we’ve ever had in the MCU.”—Kevin Feige on Dave Bautista’s Drax
A killer mixtape for the crowd
The Guardians of the Galaxy films are notorious for their incredible soundtracks. James Gunn has shared Volume 3‘s soundtrack, and it shows how this collection of music is to move the audience as it brings back some notable songs that were heard in previous Guardians films.
One notable song is Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love” which was the song that introduced the Guardians into the MCU. The return of the song in Volume 3 presents an opportunity for it to become nostalgic to the franchise and memorable for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The soundtrack also features artists including Radiohead, Heart, Bruce Springsteen, and Florence & The Machine.
Gunn shared his process of forming Awesome Mix Vol. 3 for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3:
“It was difficult choosing the music for this movie. The first two, it was just ’70s AM hits, however since [Kraglin] gave Peter the Zune, I got to choose between everything, and it made it much more difficult.”—James Gunn on creating Awesome Mix Vol. 3
An epic conclusion is waiting
The long-awaited third installment is on its way to theaters. Accompanied by the cast and crew’s remarks about the film from the press conference, it promises to be an emotional journey for Marvel fans as we say goodbye to beloved members of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on early reactions to the film, don’t forget to bring tissues to the theatre and prepare for anything that our Guardians family might bring to the table.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 arrives in theatres on May 5. Tickets for the film are on sale now!