Here's who Pete Davidson is playing in 'Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3'
The "SNL" star has a small part in James Gunn's new comic book blockbuster.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.
You didn't see Pete Davidson host this past weekend's Saturday Night Live... mainly because there wasn't a Saturday Night Live this past weekend, due to the ongoing Writer's Guild of America strike. But the comedian and actor is still on display in two other projects — his new Peacock series, Bupkis, which premiered on May 4 and James Gunn's just-released farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.
Fair warning: You'll have to look a little bit harder to spot Davidson in Guardians as opposed to Bupkis. The latter series features the Not Ready for Primetime Player front and center as a lightly fictionalized version of his Staten Island self, with Joe Pesci playing his grandfather and Edie Falco as his mom. But Gunn sneakily only uses Davidson's voice — not his face — for his Vol. 3 cameo, which happens during an action-packed moment late in the film.
Watch our interview with James Gunn and Chris Pratt on YouTube:
For his trilogy-capper, the writer/director crafts a story that finds the core Guardians crew — including Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Nebula (Karen Gillen), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Groot (Vin Diesel), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) — assembling to save their furry friend Rocket (Bradley Cooper) from a close brush with death. That journey takes them from their HQ on the spaceport Knowhere to a Counter-Earth overseen by the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), a creator of hybrid creatures like the wisecracking, gun-toting space raccoon.
And Rocket isn't the only life form that the High Evolutionary has "evolved." He has an entire menagerie of experiments, not including the many that he's killed along the way. In the film's Beastie Boys-scored climax, the Guardians take on the mad scientist's entire army hoping to free the critters — and human children — he has in his not-so-tender-and-loving care.
One of those critters is Phlektik, a blobby being that looks like something the High Evolutionary never got finished tinkering with. An always-empathetic empath, Mantis tries to keep her personal judgements about appearance in check as she lets him flee with the others. The blob responds with a few words of gratitude, uttered in Davidson's recognizably laconic voice.
Over the weekend, Gunn shared evidence of Davidson's presence in the film on Twitter, and included a picture of the actor that revealed he was actually on set for his cameo. "Pete not only voiced but actually came to visit us in Atlanta," the filmmaker revealed, including a series of photos with Davidson standing next to cast members Pratt, Saldana and Klementieff.
I voiced the beautiful Lambshank. I don't want to show her here because she's too gorgeous & I don't want folks to feel bad about themselves in comparison. And my friend Pete not only voiced but actually came to visit us in Atlanta for a day and played Phlektik on set. https://t.co/tyVPU7GsZg pic.twitter.com/2cKamjHqxS
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 7, 2023
This is the second time that Gunn — who is heading over to run Marvel's Distinguished Competition, DC Studios, with Peter Safran — has found a part for Davidson in one of his wild and wooly superhero movies. The King of Staten Island star previously had a bit part in The Suicide Squad, Gunn's 2021 reboot/sequel of the 2016 all-villain team-up directed by David Ayer. There he played the mercenary Richard Hertz aka Blackguard, and scored a memorable death scene in the bloodbath that opens the movie.
Appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon in 2021, Davidson explained the backstory of how he ended up connecting with Gunn. "I love superhero movies and I'm a huge James Gunn fan," he said. "I got a call from James Gunn, he was like, 'There's this role for you in the movie. And you play a guy named Richard Hertz.' And I was like 'Dick Hertz! I'm in!'"
Since Gunn likes bringing back the same actors across his many movies — including friend Michael Rooker, brother Sean Gunn and wife Jennifer Holland — don't be surprised if Davidson makes an appearance in the new DC Universe as well. Not for nothing, but Gunn is still looking for a Man of Steel to star in his next movie, Superman: Legacy. Just imagine all the speed dating Davidson could get away with if he had Superman's powers.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 is playing in theaters now.