While many aspects of James Gunn's MCU trilogy closer have been celebrated, one of the highlights of the film for many was Chukwudi Iwuji's terrifying portrayal of the Marvel Comics villain, and the creator of Rocket, the High Evolutionary.
And despite seemingly being killed off at the tail-end of Guardians 3, some speculated the film's big bad may have survived, as Dave Bautista's Drax could be seen carrying someone's body from the wreckage of the film's climactic ship battle.
Gunn has since confirmed that yes, in fact, the High Evolutionary did make it out of the fiery rubble of his destroyed ship, and was "imprisoned on Knowhere," something that he said would make its way out "in the extras eventually."
A Guardians 3 Twist Revealed
After being previously teased by director James Gunn, fans finally can watch the deleted scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which confirms an oft-speculated villain twist from the film.
Following his defeat and capture, Iwuji's Guardians character is visibly upset, as - in a quite grotesque manner - he tries to reattach dangling pieces of his face.
The other half of the deleted scene focuses on Sean Gunn's Kraglin introducing himself to Guardians newcomer Adam Warlock (played by Will Poulter), seemingly teasing the assembly of the new team roster.
The two exchange pleasantries before Kraglin jokes about Poulter's hero name just being Adam. He says a hero must have "something metal" for their name, suggesting "Molly Hatchet, Iron Maiden, [or] Def Leppard," to which Poulter retorts, "I like Adam."
Watch the full scene below:
Will the High Evolutionary Return to the MCU?
While many audience members left the theater thinking Chukwudi Iwuji's High Evolutionary had died at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy 3, it seems as though that is not the case.
Yes, including this deleted scene in the movie would have 100% confirmed that Iwuji's Marvel villain had survived the proceedings, but it is pretty easy for one to see why Marvel Studios and James Gunn opted to cut it.
Removing this sequence adds some questionability to High Evolutionary's fate, making fans wonder if the character is in fact done with the franchise, but also leaving the door open for his return should the studio want another go-round with the actor and the character.
And it now seems likely Iwuji's intergalactic scientist will be back in some form within the MCU.
He was one of the most celebrated elements of the films after all, with The Direct's Russ Millheim calling him "one of Marvel’s best antagonists [to date]" in his review of the film.
Marvel knows when they have a good thing, and - though it may be quite some time before the Guardians villain returns - it would not be all that surprising if he were to pop up again in the future.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be available for purchase on digital storefronts starting July 7.