Director has posted the first photo from the set of third movie in superhero franchise.

James Gunn has posted to Instagram the first image from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The photo finds Gunn, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, and Zoe Saldana joined by new cast members Will Poulter, who's portraying the character Adam Warlock, and Chukwudi Iwuji, whose role in the film has yet to be announced.

"It's been a strange & long & at times challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful," Gunn wrote in the post. "Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting."

James Gunn
James Gunn is back in production on "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."
| Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The road to that first day has almost been as eventful as one of the director's films. In July 2018, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn announced that the company had "severed" its business relationship with Gunn, who directed the first two Guardians movies, after conservative pundits resurfaced offensive jokes the Donald Trump-criticizing filmmaker had tweeted a decade earlier. Gunn was subsequently hired by Warner Bros. to write and direct this year's The Suicide Squad, whose forthcoming spin-off show Peacemaker features Iwuji in the cast. Horn reinstated Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in March 2019 but Disney had to wait for the filmmaker to complete both The Suicide Squad and the shot-during-the-pandemic Peacemaker before he could begin filming the third entry in the spectacularly successful Guardians franchise, which is set for release on May 5, 2023.

"For Guardians 3, the script has basically been written for a long time, Gunn told EW earlier this year. "I've been playing with it in little ways over the years, but it's basically stayed the same since three years ago. It's pretty heavy actually. It's a heavier story, so it's an emotional process to go through."

See the image of Gunn with his cast below.

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