The former teen heartthrob — who has, in recent years, proved his acting chops in roles like Phillip Carlyle in The Greatest Showman (2017) and serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) — was a frontrunner, at least in many Marvel fans’ minds, for the role of Marvel Comics’ Adam Warlock in his MCU debut.
Warlock — an artificially engineered human who was created by the research group known as “the Enclave” — will be appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 (2023) alongside stars like Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel).
Now, Warlock has officially been cast — and he’s not being played by Efron. Instead, Will Poulter (The Maze Runner, We’re the Millers, The Chronicles of Narnia) will officially portray Warlock.
This has irked many Efron fans, and they’ve made the actor trend on social media as a result.
Marquis Belton wrote:
I know Zac Efron was long rumored. However Will Poulter – I kind of see it.
I know Zac Efron was long rumored. However Will Poulter – I kind of see it. https://t.co/TEAoQomJBL
— Marquis Belton (@THEREELMARQUIS) October 12, 2021
Related: Did Doctor Strange MURDER Iron Man?
A Twitter user going by hotline blang is clearly devastated by the news that Efron’s MCU debut isn’t imminent, posting two broken hearts and tagging the actor.
— hotline blang (@benblang) October 12, 2021
Some Marvel fans, like Kev, are hoping that Efron not being cast in Guardians means that the High School Musical alum will make his MCU debut as Johnny Storm instead:
Will Poulter joining ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ as Adam Warlock is fantastic news which also now leaves the possibility of Zac Efron being casted as Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) in the upcoming MCU Fantastic 4 reboot
Will Poulter joining ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ as Adam Warlock is fantastic news which also now leaves the possibility of Zac Efron being casted as Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) in the upcoming MCU Fantastic 4 reboot👀
— K̶e̶v̶❤️🔥 (@trillkevooo) October 11, 2021
MJ is uncertain about the casting, but is optimistic about the Adam Warlock casting announcement:
Definitely would’ve went [sic: gone] with an Alexander Ludwig or even a Zac Efron honestly but awesome that’s he’s finally going to be in the MCU after teasing him in guardians of the galaxy 2 like 5 years ago
Definitely would’ve went with an Alexander Ludwig or even a Zac Efron honestly but awesome that’s he’s finally going to be in the MCU after teasing him in guardians of the galaxy 2 like 5 years ago https://t.co/WqdIcU0wWg
— MJ (@mjamison_) October 11, 2021
Marvel officially describes Adam Warlock as:
Created by the Enclave to be part of a race of super humans who would abolish war, illness, and crime, Adam Warlock [Magus] is a unique being who uses his immense and formidable powers to safeguard the universe.
More on Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The official description of the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie — which launched the intergalactic trilogy — reads:
An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
Do you think Will Poulter was the right choice to play Adam Warlock?