Some directors will go to any lengths to keep their movie's secrets.
In the case of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn was so concerned that a major moment at the end of the film would be spoiled before its release that an elaborate ruse was concocted to throw fans off the trail. Before we go any further, this is just a friendly warning that the rest of this item contains massive spoilers for just the moment we're talking about. If you want to know more, skip past this photo:
Still with us? Okay, here we go ...
As you know if you've seen the movie, Michael Rooker's Yondu perishes at the end, freezing to death in space after saving the life of his adopted son, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt).
It's an incredibly moving sequence, followed by an emotional funeral scene in which Yondu's body is consigned to the stars in a colorful, fiery display.
But yet, not too long before Guardians Vol. 2 came out, Rooker posted a handful of photos online in which he was seen wearing an Avengers: Infinity War cap while spending time in Atlanta, near where Infinity War is being filmed (the first photo is at a Starbucks down there, the second allegedly in the film's make-up trailer). The implication, of course, was that Yondu would be fighting Thanos alongside the rest of the Guardians in Infinity War:
But as it turns out, that was all a ruse: Rooker was sent to Atlanta by Gunn to confuse fans who were speculating that Yondu would indeed die at the end of Guardians Vol. 2, and make them think that he survived and was going to show up in the Avengers sequel. Gunn confirmed as much in an exchange on Twitter:
One thought remains, however: these are movies based on comic books, and if we know anything, it's that characters die and come back all the time in those funnybook pages. Couldn't the same happen for Yondu? Not according to Gunn, who addressed that issue in a Facebook Live chat:
“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.”
There you have it. And while we love Yondu as much as anyone and believe Michael Rooker should be in Marvel movies (or, actually, all movies) until the Earth goes spinning out of its orbit, we have to agree with Gunn: the death of a character has to mean something, and bringing that character back often undermines the entire reason for their demise (see: Coulson, Phil).
What do you think of Gunn's little scheme? Did you think for a minute that Yondu might be coming back?