The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 release date has been locked and loaded for a while now, despite other quiet reshuffles along the way. The third outing for the Guardians comes from director James Gunn once again, but it has recently been announced that the fan-favorite director’s latest Marvel movie has been pulled.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) will be the 32nd movie in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and the second film overall in the new Marvel Phase Five. Phase Five began just two weeks ago with the release of Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), which saw Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return as their titular Marvel Comics-inspired roles of Ant-Man Scott Lang and Wasp Hope van Dyne.
There will be added pressure for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to perform well at the worldwide box office after Ant-Man 3‘s historic second-week drop; the film also has the tied lowest score on Rotten Tomatoes, joining Eternals (2021) with 48%. The previous installments in the Guardians trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), have grossed upwards of $750 million, with the latter topping $860 million.
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Led by Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, the group of disparate misfits has become a popular addition to the MCU, appearing in both Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), in addition to their own self-titled movies and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) on Disney+. Last year, Pratt, Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), and Sean Gunn (Kraglin Obfonteri) appeared in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder (2022).
May 5 will see the Guardians return once more in their third — and final — adventure; they will also be reunited, somehow, with Zoe Saldaña’s Gamora. But for one territory, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 release has changed, being pulled forward by two days.
In the United Kingdom, Disney has confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will release on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, as opposed to its original planned date of May 5; the Marvel film will still release on May 5 in the United States.
While there is no concrete reason that the shift has happened, it may likely be due to the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, which is happening on Saturday, May 6, 2023. The British Royal Family is hugely significant in the United Kingdom, and a national Bank Holiday has been announced for the following Monday (May 8). The close proximity of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s release on May 5 to the celebrations many Brits will be participating in over that subsequent weekend would likely reduce audience numbers massively during the film’s opening weekend.
The pullback to May 3 allows more theatergoers to see the film before hunkering down to watch the new monarch’s coronation.
If this is, in part, a factor in Disney’s decision to shift the second Guardians sequel, then it does also pose the risk of more spoilers making their way online and to the masses before its release elsewhere two days later. Marvel Studios, of course, are notorious for including multiple easter eggs throughout its movies in addition to the often game-changing mid and post-credits scenes.
Related: Dave Bautista Reveals Everything: ‘Guardians’ Stars Will Leave Amid Franchise Fallout, Boycott
As this is the end of this current group of Guardians, it will be interesting to see how Marvel handles its position in Phase Five and whether it will be a rather self-contained narrative or one which inherently connects to the greater Multiverse Saga. This current saga will culminate in a few years’ time with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2026).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 also stars Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, Chukwudi Iwuji as High Evolutionary, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Maria Bakalova as Cosmo the Spacedog, and Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogard. Daniela Melchior, Nico Santos, and Asim Chaudhry will all appear in undisclosed roles.
Will you be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 early? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!