Guardians of the Galaxy 3: Borat Star Maria Bakalova Joins Epic Marvel Threequel

The breakout star from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Maria Bakalova, will be joining James Gunn's film in an undisclosed, but "key role."

Wowaweewa! Even if James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 has finished production, Deadline has scooped one heck of a major star that was not announced as part of its main cast back when the film started filming.

According to the trade, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm breakout star Maria Bakalova has filmed a “key role” in James Gunn’s movie, with the details of her character kept under wraps. Gunn himself confirmed the casting on Twitter, saying that “Yes yes yes, okay, I guess I should be surprised it took you guys this long to get this one. @MariaBakalova96 is incredible.” You can view the tweet below:

Maria Bakalova then replied “THANK YOU @JamesGunn! You are truly an EXTRAORDINARY creator and it’s been the biggest honor for me to work with you! Your vision, your humor, your talent are beyond this world! Not only that but you’re one of the most amazing humans I’ve ever met! I love you! I admire you and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE everyone involved in #GotGVol3 and @marvelstudios! What a talent [sic] beautiful group of people!”

You can view the tweet below:

Maria Bakalova Officially Joins The Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Academy Award-nominated star will be joining an incredible cast, featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Will Poulter, Chukwudi Iwuji and Daniela Melchoir. Melchoir’s casting was reported last week, also by Deadline, but her role will reportedly be minimal, compared to Maria Bakalova.

maria bakalova in borat 2

Maria Bakalova came to stardom after starring in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm as Tutar Sagdiyev, alongside Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Sagdiyev. The role landed her an Oscar Nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also won the Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, against favorites Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Youn Yuh-jung (Minari), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), and Olivia Colman (The Father).


She recently starred in Judd Apatow’s COVID-19 movie, The Bubble, co-starring Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Pedro Pascal, Keegan Michael-Key, Leslie Mann, Fred Armisen, David Duchovny, Kate McKinnon, Guz Khan, Vir Das and Peter Serafinowicz. Gillan and Serafinowicz both starred in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Marvel alums Benedict Cumberbatch and James McAvoy both appeared in the movie, in small, but effective cameos.

Maria Bakalova will next star in Bodies Bodies Bodies, a Sundance critical hit, directed by Halina Reijn, and co-starring Amandla Sternberg, Pete Davidson, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, and Lee Pace, with the latter appearing in the MCU as Ronan the Accuser, in Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and briefly in 2019’s Captain Marvel. The movie releases in theatres on August 5th.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 will be released in theaters on May 5, 2023, written and directed by James Gunn. However, the Guardians will return in Thor: Love and Thunder this year, and on The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+ during the Christmas season before Vol. 3 releases during the summer movie season of 2023. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will be the second “special” Marvel release on their streaming service, with Michael Giacchino’s Werewolf by Night expected to release in October or November, should the studio ever acknowledge its existence.

Who do you think Maria Bakalova will be playing in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3? Do you think it’s a great casting choice? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on Twitter!



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Maxance Vincent

Maxance is a freelance film and TV writer, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the University of Montreal, with a specialization in Video Game Studies.