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How Will Poulter’s Career Culminates in Adam Warlock – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

How Will Poulter’s Career Culminates in Adam Warlock



When Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released, fans were left wondering how the MCU would handle Adam Warlock, and with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, we finally have our answer: Will Poulter. In his introductory scene, Poulter brings an energy that sets the tone for the rest of the movie through his brutality. Although he spends much of the film as an angry puppy, his transition feels seamless thanks to Poulter’s performance. This was essentially the role he was born to play, and his career put him in the perfect position as someone childlike but becoming more serious in his recent roles.

Poulter’s formative roles in movies such as We’re the Millers, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and the Maze Runner movies set a certain typecast for the actor that would make him the perfect Adam Warlock for James Gunn’s take on the character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. More important than being typecast, Poulter showed great acting ability in all three roles; he holds the audience’s attention anytime he’s on-screen just through the sheer nature of being memorable.

While talent is essential for any role, relevance can sometimes be just as, if not more, important for landing big roles, so it’s unlikely that three movies from ten years ago alone earned Poulter his place as Adam Warlock. Since his younger roles typecast him, many of the roles Poulter has appeared in since seem like intentional ways of trying to change that perception. Poulter even made an appearance in The Revenant, the movie that finally got Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar, and one of his last major movies before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was in Midsummer, the highly praised thriller from 2019.

Adam Warlock is one of Marvel Comics’ most important characters, and while fans were hyped up when Adam was teased at the end of the second Guardians of the Galaxy, the MCU is consistent at changing events from the comics. However, stripping Adam entirely of his serious nature is unlikely to be the case, as it was specifically called out that he was removed from his cocoon early, so he is still just a child. This is why Poulter is the perfect casting; many movie-goers still see him as a kid for all his child acting roles, but his more recent endeavors have proved he can handle serious parts and can be much more than comedy relief while still excelling at being comedic.

The Guardian of the Galaxy trilogy as we know it may be over, but a clear path has been set for a new iteration of Guardians to take the stage, even being teased at the end of this movie, with Adam Warlock officially joining the team. We will see the Guardians again, and given his importance in the comics, Adam may even show up separately as a part of some other big events. His younger take may even tie into some form of Young Avengers, as many characters who make up that group have also been making appearances since phase 3 ended. Based on Poulter’s past roles as an antagonist to groups of heroic teens, though, that may not go too well. One thing is clear, Poulter will continue to rise in fame as he appears in more MCU movies, and his acting ability will earn him roles far into the future.

When Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out, there was one question on everyone’s mind after the post-credit’s scenes rolled: how would the MCU handle Adam Warlock? With the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in theaters, we finally get our answer in the form of Will Poulter.


Almost unrecognizable from the roles he played as a young actor, in his introductory scene, Poulter brings an energy that quickly sets the tone for the rest of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 through his brutality. He then spends much of the rest of the movie being little more than an angry puppy, but the transition feels seamless thanks to Poulter’s performance. This was essentially the role he was born to play, and his career put him in the perfect position as someone childlike but, at the same time, becoming more serious in his more recent roles.

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Character Development

You Guys Are Getting Paid?
WB

If you’ve spent any time online, you might be familiar with the “You guys are getting paid?” meme, taken from a movie called We’re the Millers. In the film, Poulter plays a somewhat annoying, and incredibly dimwitted, kid that gets duped into helping with the drug-smuggling at the center of the story. Before that, in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Poulter played a somewhat dimwitted, incredibly annoying kid that accidentally gets swept up into a grand fantastical adventure with distant relatives whom he detests. He even shows up in the Maze Runner movies as, yet again, a somewhat annoying and extremely antagonistic kid that fights with the main character.

Related: MCU’s Adam Warlock on the Big Screen: What Would His Solo Movie Look Like?

These three movies make up Poulter’s formative roles; they set a certain typecast for the actor that would make him the perfect Adam Warlock for James Gunn’s take on the character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. If you need a still-young, annoyingly naive, confrontational anti-hero, who better but the guy who has been playing those roles since he was a kid? More important than being typecast, Poulter showed great acting ability in all three roles; he holds the audience’s attention anytime he’s on-screen just through the sheer nature of being memorable.

There’s a reason he’s used as a meme: people vaguely recognize him because they remember him, and there were a lot of people going “Isn’t that the kid from…?” when he made his introduction to the MCU.

Road to Stardom

Little Hope
Supermassive Games

As much as talent is important for any role, relevance can sometimes be just as, if not more, important for landing big roles, so it’s unlikely three movies from 10 years ago alone earned Poulter his place as Adam Warlock. Since his younger roles typecast him, many of the roles Poulter has appeared in since seem like intentional ways of trying to change that perception. Everything, from starring in a horror video game to Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch special, has been far darker roles than anything he appeared in before. Poulter even made an appearance in The Revenantthe movie that finally got Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar, and one of his last major movies before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was in Midsummer, the highly praised thriller from 2019.

The common thread throughout all of these roles is how explosively popular and relevant they were — practically everyone has seen at least one of these movies. Bandersnatch came at the peak of the internet’s obsession with Black Mirrorpeople still talk about Midsummerand, again, The Revenant won an Oscar.

On top that, Maze Runner is a movie adaptation of a highly successful young adult novel series, and those almost always have tons of eyes on them thanks to young adults making up such a significant demographic of moviegoers. He may have started as a child actor, but Poulter has clearly grown into a full-fledged actor, whose career will only grow as part of the MCU.

Not So Great Expectations

Maze Runner
20th Century Fox

Adam Warlock is one of Marvel Comics’ most important characters. Much like the audience sees how Captain Marvel draws upon the power of the Space Stone in her origin-story movie, Adam Warlock draws his power from another Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone. As the center of multiple big events in the comics, fans unsurprisingly hyped up when Adam was teased at the end of the second Guardians of the Galaxybut if the MCU is consistent at one thing, it’s changing events from the comics.

After his extremely lighthearted take on DC’s own cinematic universe earned him a spot at leading it as CEOthere was no way an MCU movie directed by Gunn would keep the serious personality Adam tends to have in the comics, especially not when the MCU skews on the less serious side of tones most of the time.

However, stripping Adam entirely of his serious nature is unlikely to be the case, as it was specifically called out that he was removed from his cocoon early — so he is still just a child — but that doesn’t mean he won’t do some growing up as time goes on, which is exactly why Poulter is the perfect casting. Many movie-goers still see him as a kid for all his child acting roles, but his more recent endeavors have proved he can handle more serious parts, and can be much more than comedy relief, while still excelling at being comedic.

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Who Are the New Team Members?

The Warlock

Will Poulter as Adam Warlock in Guardian Vol 3
Marvel Studios

The Guardian of the Galaxy trilogy as we know it may be over, but a clear path has been set for a new iteration of Guardians to take the stage, even being teased at the end of this movie, with Adam Warlock officially joining the team. Where they go from here, only time will tell, but we will see them again. Given his importance in the comics, Adam may even show up separately as a part of some other big events.

His younger take may even tie into some form of Young Avengers, as many characters who make up that group have also been making appearances since phase 3 ended. Based on Poulter’s past roles as an antagonist to groups of heroic teens, though, that may not go too well. What clear is that he will only continue to rise in fame as he appears in more MCU movies, and his acting ability will earn him roles far into the future.

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