In vivo and in vitro studies have provided evidence that vaccinia virus late gene transcription factors are intermediate gene products synthesized exclusively after DNA replication. Here, we describe an additional transcription factor (P3 factor) that stimulates late gene transcription between 10- and 40-fold but is made in the absence of viral DNA replication. P3 factor activity was not detected either in uninfected cells or in purified virions. A > 1,500-fold purification of P3 factor was achieved by column chromatography of cytoplasmic extracts prepared from cells infected with vaccinia virus in the presence of a DNA replication inhibitor. P3 factor was stage specific, since it could not substitute for early or intermediate transcription factors. Evidence that late stage-specific transcription factors are made both before and after DNA replication necessitates a modification of the cascade model for vaccinia virus gene regulation.