Chris Pratt thinks you’ll be surprised by how dark Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is

Guardians of the Galaxy 3
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

"I think it will be surprising for some folks how far James [Gunn] is willing to go," Chris Pratt tells GamesRadar+ about how Guardians of the Galaxy 3 tackles Rocket’s backstory. "And how much he's put into his backstory – it really shows that Rocket has been the heart of this group all along."

The warnings have been there since the first trailer dropped and featured some hints at Rocket’s troubled past. Now as the movie arrives in theaters, it seems writer and director Gunn hasn’t held back on the savagery of his story.

At the heart of it all is the new villain the High Evolutionary, played by Peacemaker’s Chukwudi Iwuji. It’s no spoiler to say that the genetics-obsessed maniac has a colorful past with the anthropomorphic raccoon, and the actor admits he was taken aback at times by how dark they went. 

"I was surprised very early on in filming, there’s a particular scene, I won't spoil it, but where we’re with Rocket, myself, and my team - it's quite a graphic scene" Iwuji tells us over Zoom. "That made me very surprised that we went there. But as soon as we went there, I was like, [Gunn] is living up to his word of saying that this is a movie that explores Rocket’s backstory."

Throughout the previous movies, we’ve had some glimpses of Rocket’s past. Indeed, who can forget his gut-wrenching, "I didn't ask to get made" from the 2014 original – but now Iwuji promises, we’ll get the full picture. 

"We've had hints of it before, and there was no way [Gunn] was going to be true to Rocket and true to the story of Rocket without getting very dark," he explains. "It makes for such a complete movie emotionally because there's a lot of laughter, there's a lot of action, there's a lot of what we expect, but he had to delve into this dark path that has made this creature into the creature he is right now."

Guardians of the Galaxy 3

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

While it may be brutal, Peter Quill star Pratt thinks it fits the tone of the Guardians trilogy perfectly. As he puts it, "Each character from the Guardians of the Galaxy is born in severe trauma".

"I think if you were to take the lives of any of the characters and take a deep dive into it, you'd see that it was pretty traumatic," the actor explains. "Certainly we've already been able to see that with Peter Quill, but now we're seeing that with Rocket. We see it a bit with Nebula and Gamora as well but if we were to go into Drax’s backstory losing his family or any of the other characters… they've been through a lot."

However, he adds, "It's that bonding over those traumatic instances in their life and turning to one another that strengthens the bond of their friendship and the family that they've created."

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 arrives in theaters on May 3 in the UK and May 5 in the US. For more on the MCU, check out our break down of how to watch the Marvel movies in order and all the upcoming Marvel movies and shows on the way.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.