James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is already regarded as a modern classic by many fans due to its unique tone, visuals, and characters. Both films have famously featured the deaths of major characters as both Groot and Yondu sacrificed themselves to save the team across the two films. Meanwhile, the concluding installment in the trilogy is set to release in 2023 and is expected to include yet another major death.
As would be expected from a franchise on the scale of the MCU, the secrecy surrounding the production is unparalleled as Marvel continually goes to great lengths to maintain surprises. In the past, actors and crew members have accidentally revealed spoilers from the films with the full scripts now being restricted to an extremely minimal number of people.
For a long time now, a conspiracy has existed among many Marvel fans that Yondu actor Michael Rooker was flown to the set of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame to cover up his character's death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
This speculation was supported by the fact that in early 2017 when Avengers: Infinity War first started production (months before Vol. 2's release in May 2017), Rooker shared multiple pictures of himself on social media wearing an Infinity War hat:
However, the man behind the sci-fi franchise has now refuted the claims about any type of Marvel plan to throw off fans...
JAMES GUNN DENIES GUARDIANS CONSPIRACY
In response to a fan on Twitter, director James Gunn has finally refuted claims that Michael Rooker traveled to the set of Avenger: Infinity War and Endgame to cover up his character's death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In his tweet, Gunn revealed that “no one ever flew Michael Rooker to the Endgame set to hide Yondu's death,” but was instead to “shoot the Halloween skin for the Guardians ride in Disneyland” next to the Infinity War production.
WILL GUARDIANS 3 HIDE ANOTHER MAJOR DEATH?
As James Gunn prepares to begin production on 2023's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, many fans find themselves in deep speculation as to which character will meet their demise in the final installment. With just under two years to go until the release, fans will have to keep speculating for quite a while longer as Gunn concludes his two ongoing productions with DC.
Given the weird and wonderful nature of the Marvel universe, death never has to be final in the comic book world, so there is always the potential for Yondu and other deceased heroes to return down the line. As the involvement of the multiverse and time travel continues to ramp up, moviegoers and series streamers can never be too sure what to expect from the future.
As James Gunn prepares to potentially conclude his time in the MCU, it's hard to imagine what the future holds for his characters with the man at the helm gone. The group has proven to be a close-knit family since their 2014 introduction, so it's likely the trilogy-concluding film may be the end for much of the team.
However, with the entire team having featured in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, the potential will always exist for the lovable band of misfits to appear again outside their own franchise. With Thor having recently jetted off into space with the Guardians, the whole team is set to return in Thor: Love and Thunder, meaning there's plenty more to come from the group before their trilogy wraps up.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to hit theaters in May 2023, while they will also star in their own Disney+ Holiday Special in late 2022.