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Spoilers: Why James Gunn almost didn't return to direct Guardians Vol. 3

05.15.2017

James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

There will be major spoilers for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, so keep that in mind as we move forward. Despite the massive success of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY franchise, director James Gunn didn't immediately agree to a third installment. Gunn said that he "needed to know it was, in my heart, what I truly felt called to do. There is a history in Hollywood of haphazard endings to trilogies, and I didn’t want to become a part of that dishonorable tradition of pretending the third one doesn’t exist." In the end, James Gunn announced that he would return to write and direct GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3, but during the course of a Facebook Live Q&A, Gunn revealed why he almost didn't come back. Remember, spoilers.

During the finale of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, Yondu (Michael Rooker) scarified himself in order to save the life of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). Although James Gunn called it "the hardest choice I've ever had to make from a storytelling perspective," he soon realized that Yondu needed to die if he was going tell the story honestly. However, that choice almost led to James Gunn turning down GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 as he couldn't see making the film without his close friend and frequent collaborator.

Michael Rooker, for all the crap I give him, is one of my closest friends in the world and the last thing I wanted to do was to make a movie without Michael Rooker in the future. I almost didn’t do Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 because there was no Michael Rooker in it and I couldn’t see making the movie without him. He means that much to me and I love him that much.

Despite death not always being a permanent condition in comic-book movies, James Gunn confirmed that Yondu is definitely dead and won't be coming back as long as he's involved with Marvel, although Gunn wouldn't rule out a flashblack sequence or a prequel.

Yondu is dead. I think it's very important that in these movies, there are stakes within the films. I am not into this old school way of doing things, where you kill characters and you bring them back and then you kill them again and then you bring them back and their deaths mean nothing. Yondu is dead. It's sad. There could be a prequel Yondu film or a flashback or something like that. Yondu could exist in the past, but he's not going to come back to life, so long as I am involved with Marvel. It's just not going to happen.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is currently playing in theaters, so check out reviews from our own Eric Walkuski and Chris Bumbray and make sure to let us know what YOU thought of the film!

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11:36PM on 05/15/2017

He 'scarified' himself?

What did he do, look in the mirror? LOL
What did he do, look in the mirror? LOL
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3:36PM on 05/15/2017
The second ones sucks anyway
The second ones sucks anyway
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5:14PM on 05/15/2017
Nope.
Nope.
9:45PM on 05/15/2017
So is your mom, but we're not complaining.
So is your mom, but we're not complaining.
5:01AM on 05/16/2017
Haha classic marvel idiots, how dare I not enjoy a precious marvel film lol. Go watch some proper cinema!
Haha classic marvel idiots, how dare I not enjoy a precious marvel film lol. Go watch some proper cinema!
2:36PM on 05/15/2017
Good thing he's thinking about that sort of thing. Used to be that third movies were crap because of a change in director (Batman Forever, X-men 3). Then we learned they could suck even with the original director (X-men Apocalypse, Spider-man 3). The only director in my opinion to break that curse is Nolan, and even he couldn't stop himself from making a film that was the least of the trilogy.

Edit: I guess the Russos broke the curse as well with Civil War.
Good thing he's thinking about that sort of thing. Used to be that third movies were crap because of a change in director (Batman Forever, X-men 3). Then we learned they could suck even with the original director (X-men Apocalypse, Spider-man 3). The only director in my opinion to break that curse is Nolan, and even he couldn't stop himself from making a film that was the least of the trilogy.

Edit: I guess the Russos broke the curse as well with Civil War.
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3:05PM on 05/15/2017
Looks like Thor Ragnarok will be the best of that series, too.
Looks like Thor Ragnarok will be the best of that series, too.
5:42PM on 05/15/2017
Keep in mind with Captain America, it's been the same two writers since the first. Christopher Markus and Steven McFeely are the unsung heroes of the MCU
Keep in mind with Captain America, it's been the same two writers since the first. Christopher Markus and Steven McFeely are the unsung heroes of the MCU
5:42PM on 05/15/2017
Keep in mind with Captain America, it's been the same two writers since the first. Christopher Markus and Steven McFeely are the unsung heroes of the MCU
Keep in mind with Captain America, it's been the same two writers since the first. Christopher Markus and Steven McFeely are the unsung heroes of the MCU
1:55PM on 05/15/2017
It's exciting and reassuring that Gunn will be back for Volume Three because in all honesty, there is no other director I could see taking over for Gunn and bringing the quality and overall greatness that he has brought to the first two Guardian films and towards the cosmic side of the MCU.

And even though it sucks we'll never see Yondu again, it's probably for the best that he isn't resurrected for Infinity War because that would totally contradict the sacrifice he makes for Peter in Volume
It's exciting and reassuring that Gunn will be back for Volume Three because in all honesty, there is no other director I could see taking over for Gunn and bringing the quality and overall greatness that he has brought to the first two Guardian films and towards the cosmic side of the MCU.

And even though it sucks we'll never see Yondu again, it's probably for the best that he isn't resurrected for Infinity War because that would totally contradict the sacrifice he makes for Peter in Volume two.
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1:52PM on 05/15/2017
As much as I wanted to see Yondu and Stakar make up, I understood it, and it made the Guardians an even better franchise within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because of their willingness to add stakes like that. While the first movie remains the most fun, the second one was smart in that it answered questions about relationships that had only been hinted at in the first movie. There are still a lot of ways the third film can go wrong. Honestly, my favorite part of the second movie is probably
As much as I wanted to see Yondu and Stakar make up, I understood it, and it made the Guardians an even better franchise within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because of their willingness to add stakes like that. While the first movie remains the most fun, the second one was smart in that it answered questions about relationships that had only been hinted at in the first movie. There are still a lot of ways the third film can go wrong. Honestly, my favorite part of the second movie is probably that you only needed to see the first one to understand anything going on there. There weren't unnecessary references to the greater MCU except as easter eggs and references to Thanos (who being in the first film, was fair game even if they weren't tied to a greater universe).
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1:45PM on 05/15/2017
Rooker was so damn good and that is why the ending worked so well. Just put him a quick flashback scene in the next one. Doesn't have to be anything big. Just a moment of comic relief
Rooker was so damn good and that is why the ending worked so well. Just put him a quick flashback scene in the next one. Doesn't have to be anything big. Just a moment of comic relief
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