James Gunn says again that Michael Rooker’s Yondu will not return in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Writer-director Gunn took the oddball Marvel comic book property about a team of outside space misfits into the big screen in 2014. The result was a surprise blockbuster that spanned $772 million worldwide and spawned the 2017 sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Characters in the Guardians films would also become major players in other Marvel films.
Given the massive popularity of Guardians of the Galaxy and its motley crew of wise-cracking space mercenaries, it is no surprise that the characters will continue to return in future MCU films. Indeed it seems a few of them are going to be back, in cameo roles at least, in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. And of course Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and business will even soar back on shows in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, written and directed again by Gunn (later he was temporarily fired from Disney for old tweets). Little is known about the next Guardians movie, but Gunn has offered a couple of tantalizing bits of information. To begin, Gunn says Adult Groot will not be back for volume three of their saga. In addition, Gunn has taken down rumours that Marvel has started casting Adam Warlock for its movie (Seth Rogen recently threw his name into the mixture when indeed Warlock is set to appear in Guardians 3).
Now Gunn has given up another definitive statement shooting down fan speculation about the personality line-up for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. On Twitter, the writer-director said that Rooker’s Yondu will not be resurrected for this film. “As I have mentioned earlier, Yondu is dead & will stay dead as long as I’m involved with all the Guardians,” Gunn explained. “His departure means something to people & I’m not planning to diminish that.” Watch Gunn’s tweet on the matter in the space below:
Yondu of course was a central figure in the previous Guardians of the Galaxy movies. In the first movie, he was revealed as the Ravager who originally kidnapped young earthling Peter Quill. In the second film, he shifted over into the fantastic guy side because he had been expelled from the Ravagers, ultimately sacrificing himself during the struggle with Quill’s father Ego. The movie ended with a touching funeral scene for the redeemed character. Regardless of Yondu’s seemingly definitive passing, there has been speculation he could return, some of it fueled by Rooker himself.
Even though it would no doubt be fun to view Rooker back in blue as Yondu, Gunn’s point about not cheapening the character of the death is well-taken. The MCU certainly has done its fair share of resurrecting over time, and indeed these resurrections can occasionally be very powerful. However on the other hand, sometimes it’s better from a storytelling standpoint to let a personality be gone. At the end of the afternoon, Yondu served his function in the first two films and bringing him back for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 would be a totally pointless and possibly insulting move. Gunn certainly has improved ideas for the film than engaging in dubious ploys designed to bring back fan-favourite characters whose stories have already been told.