Why James Gunn almost passed on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Contributed by
May 15, 2017

The second Guardians of the Galaxy film is already blowing up the box office, and director James Gunn has announced he’s already jotting down notes for a third film. But he almost decided to call it quits with the crew of the Milano.

Spoilers ahead for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!

During a Facebook Q&A, Gunn revealed that after the death of a certain character in Vol. 2, he wasn’t sure if he could tell another story without having that person around in the cast. As you’ve likely guessed — he’s talking about the death of Michael Rooker’s Yondu in the climax of the film, who sacrifices himself to show Quill what a real father’s love is all about. Gunn said he really loved what Yondu brought to the fold, and he was initially hesitant to come back for Vol. 3 after realizing Vol. 2 would be the character’s last appearance.

But, you know, he still likes the rest of the characters (and, presumably, all the money Marvel is willing to pay him) and decided to stick around. Here’s an excerpt from his comments:

“Let me tell you, there was nothing harder for me than the choice to kill Yondu in this movie. 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. And it was the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make from a storytelling perspective to choose to have Yondu die. I wrote a bunch of treatments where Yondu did not die.

There were other endings — he was saved at the last minute after taking the sacrificial stance, and I wrote many drafts like that. And I realized I was being dishonest. That was not what this story was. For me, the most important thing in making a movie is to tell the truest and most honest story possible, and that’s whether you’re making a $500,000 indie film or a $200 million dollar spectacle film.

And the truth of this story, this was about a father’s true and ultimate love for his son. This is a movie about, Who really are our fathers? Who really are our siblings? And the only way for it to be an honest story was for Yondu to die, and anything else would have been half measures, and would have been me backing out because I was afraid to tell the truth. And so that’s why Yondu dies.”

How do you think the franchise will work without Yondu in the mix?

(Via Bleeding Cool)