Guardians of the Galaxy
Adam Warlock's cocoon Marvel Studios

Director James Gunn has confirmed fan suspicions that Marvel hero Adam Warlock makes a cameo (in cocoon form) in Marvel's latest offering Guardians of the Galaxy.

He confirmed as much on a spoiler-filled podcast for Empire Magazine, while listing the other treasures in The Collector's (Benecio Del Toro) warehouse of unique trinkets and objects from across the galaxy.

Adam Warlock
Adam Warlock as he appears in the comics Marvel Studios

If you're not clued up on the ins and outs of the Marvel world, then very little of what I just wrote will make any sense - and fair enough really, it felt ridiculous just typing it.

Adam Warlock is a character created to be the perfect human at a scientific installation called The Beehive. So far, so silly, but his debut in the Marvel film universe is important - as is the whole of Guardians of the Galaxy - to the studio's far-reaching plans.

We know that Marvel are working towards a film which will bring everyone together as Thanos (Josh Brolin) threatens existence itself once he acquires the Infinity Stones and places them in the Infinity Gauntlet.

This is believed to be Marvel's plan for Avengers 3, which is still some years off. When it does happen it will be an adaptation of Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet comic, in which Adam Warlock plays a pivotal role.

His cocoon was first spotted in the credits scene of Thor: The Dark World, which saw characters from that film visit The Collector's base aboard the space station Knowhere.

Warning: Spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy follow.

During the course of Gunn's movie, the Guardians encounter The Collector and bring to him an orb which he reveals to be an Infinity Stone. While explaining their origins, The Collector's red-skinned assistant touches the stone, levelling the entire room and destroying most of what is inside.

The film's post-credits scene shows The Collector sitting among his ruins as Cosmo (another Marvel character also seen to be in The Collector's possession) runs up to him and licks his face. It's then that Howard the Duck of all people/aliens/things speaks up.

In the background of this scene we see that the cocoon is broken, meaning Adam Warlock has escaped and is now walking around Marvel's cinematic universe - most likely to show up Gunn's 2017 Guardians sequel.

Asked to give listeners a tour of The Collector's museum, Gunn says on the podcast: "Well many people may look up to the right of The Collector as we first see him, and you will see a certain duck named Howard that turns to look at the group. That's one of my favourite little things in the background.

"There are the slither creature from my movie Slither behind The Collector, those guys are pretty obvious. You have Adam Warlock's cocoon, you have all sorts of other characters from Marvel movies."

Guardians of the Galaxy is in cinemas now. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is set for release on 28 July 2017.