The first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the end of an era for Marvel.
The film is the final adventure of this iteration of the cosmic team, and it is also a final Marvel bow for James Gunn, who has departed the MCU to take a job as a top executive at DC Studios, where he co-runs its film, TV and animation efforts.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, and introduces the character Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a game-changer for Marvel, which had already made $1 billion brands out of so-called “B-level” characters such as Iron Man. But 2014’s Guardians took that formula to new heights, turning obscure characters into a global brand. The film, which earned $773.3 million internationally, ushered in an era in which quirky filmmakers such as Gunn put their own stamps on Marvel properties. A sequel followed in 2017, with the third eyed for 2020 before Gunn was fired from the property over old, offensive tweets before eventually being reinstated.
The Guardians, and the voice Gunn established, have been important to Marvel in between Vols. 2 and 3. The characters appeared in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, released last month on Disney+.
The soundtracks to the first two installments in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, both of which were studded with carefully curated 1970s pop gems, were both big hits. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1, which featured such hits as Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” and Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” topped the Billboard 200 for two consecutive weeks in August 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 2, which contained such hits as ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” and Looking Glass’ “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” reached No. 4 in 2017.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.