Marvel‘s Hall H Comic Con panel confirmed that Peacemaker‘s Chukwudi Iwuji would be playing the High Evolutionary in James Gunn‘s highly anticipated sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Iwuji‘s casting was confirmed earlier this year, and the actor arrived in Hall H in full costume. Vol. 3 will mark his second time working with Gunn, as Iwuji appeared in Peacemaker opposite John Cena on HBO Max earlier this year.
In the comics, the High Evolutionary is a prominent geneticist with god-like abilities. The exoskeleton he created for himself imbues him with immense power, even allowing him to go toe-to-toe on one occasion with none other than Galactus. The character has appeared in several animated Marvel projects, and Iwuji‘s role will mark his first time appearing in live action. It’s unclear how Gunn and Marvel will interpret his origin, though it will most likely tie to the stories of the first two films.
One element of the High Evolutionary that was revealed is that he is the creator of Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper). The footage shown in Hall H highlighted Rocket’s tragic character, in addition to showing some footage of his cuteness as a baby. Gunn has made it clear that this will be the final installment of these Guardians’ story and team, so expect some tears to be shed when all is said and done.
Joining Iwuji into the Guardians family is Will Poulter, who will be playing Adam Warlock. This character was teased in one of the end-credits scenes from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with the High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) opting to deploy him to take out the Guardians. Maria Bakalova will also be lending her voice to the film in the role of Cosmo the Space Dog. Cosmo was first seen in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, where the character was imprisoned in the Collector’s (Benicio del Toro) vault.
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, and Vin Diesel are all returning to the film alongside Cooper. Sylvester Stallone will be reprising his role of Stakar Ogord from Vol. 2, a Ravager who worked with Yondu (Michael Rooker). Based on the footage shown to attendees, Saldaña‘s Gamora was leading the Ravagers all the while trying to shake an insistent Peter Quill (Pratt). The third film will be picking up where Avengers: Endgame left off, with Quill and company shaken at losing their Gamora but finding one from a previous timeline in the final battle.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, 2023. Check out an image of Iwuji in costume below: