Guardians of the Galaxy 3 gets a possible streaming release date, but not on Disney Plus

A screenshot of Star-Lord looking back at his crew in Guardians of the Galaxy 3
Guardians 3 will be available on digital stores in early July. (Image credit: Marvel)

Editor's note: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 eventually arrived on Disney Plus on August 2, 2023.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will reportedly make its streaming debut next month – but it won't be coming to Disney Plus just yet.

The Marvel Phase 5 movie, which was released in US theaters on May 5 and in the UK on May 3, is reportedly coming to digital storefronts on Friday, July 7. That's according to industry insiders, such as The Hollywood Handle, who have accurately predicted when past Marvel films would be available to rent or buy.

Unfortunately for Disney Plus subscribers, there's still no word on when Guardians 3 will arrive on Disney's primary streaming service. We've reached out to Disney to find out if there's a firm launch date for the film on Disney Plus, and we'll update this article if we hear back.

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It's unclear if Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be viewable via the Amazon store, Apple TV store, Google Play and other digital platforms globally. However, Avatar: The Way of Water – which was made available to rent or buy weeks before it debuted on Disney Plus and Max – was released worldwide on these digital stores, so it should follow suit.

The third (and potentially final) instalment in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie series, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was a welcome return to form for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The last James Gunn-directed Marvel movie grossed $823.2 million at the box office and has largely been hailed as the best MCU film since 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's positive critical reception, plus its sizeable ticket sales, will have come as a relief to Marvel Studios. The Disney subsidiary has endured mixed fortunes since 2019's Avengers: Endgame brought the curtain down on its Infinity Saga. Marvel's divisive Phase 4 line-up of films and TV shows, plus the underwhelming performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in February 2023, led to comments that the MCU's time at the top was slowly coming to a close.

The studio's constant reshuffling of its release schedule line-up, hasn't helped, either. Nor have the domestic and sexual abuse allegations leveled at two of its big stars – Jonathan Majors (Ant-Man 3, Loki) and Tenoch Huerta (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) – which the duo and their lawyers have vehemently denied.

The Guardians walk towards the camera amid a scene of destruction in Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 gave Marvel a reprieve from the negative press it's been battling lately. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

More recently, Marvel has come under fire for reportedly using artificial intelligence (AI) to create the title sequence for Secret Invasion, its latest Disney Plus TV series. Per Polygon, VFX studio Method used AI-based technology to design the sequence and bring it to life – something that hasn't sat right with MCU fans or critics. 

Method has attempted to defuse the situation, telling The Hollywood Reporter that its AI use "complemented and assisted our creative teams" and that none of its staff lost their jobs as a result of using such technology.

The arrival of the hugely popular Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on digital storefronts, then, should give Marvel a temporary reprieve from the various problems it's faced lately. It'll need more than Star-Lord and company's streaming debut, though, to prove its movies and TV shows are packed with the quality we expect from the studio's projects. Find out if Secret Invasion marks another return to form for Marvel in our Secret Invasion review.

For more MCU-based coverage, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Alternatively, see which Marvel TV series made it onto our best Disney Plus shows, before getting the lowdown on Loki season 2, which arrives in October.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.