Guardians of the Galaxy 3: New Images Show Karen Gillan Prepping For Nebula Transformation

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Nebula Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is packed to the gills with entries for characters new and old. Many of these heroes will be making appearances in multiple outings, as proven by the latest trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but possibly none more so than the Guardians of the Galaxy.

After they make minor appearances in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder, the team will embark on their next journey in both 2022's Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and 2023's Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.

Most of the story details for the Guardians' threequel are expectedly being kept under wraps, with filming expected to begin in the latter stages of 2021. Even though this film is could be the last for some fan-favorite characters, the entire team will make their return after leaving Earth with Thor in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame.

Part of that group includes Karen Gillan's Nebula, who recently shared an update on progress towards Guardians 3.


Nebula actress Karen Gillan shared a set of 20 videos in her Instagram Stories detailing her prep for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

In these videos, Gillan is working with Marvel's make-up artists to cast a mold of her face for her latest Nebula transformation. 

Karen Gillan

Gillan starts off with her entire head in a cast (except for her face) as the team puts green goop all around her skull. She even includes "Cherry Bomb" by The Runaways as background music, which was famously part of director James Gunn's Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Karen Gillan

The team then proceeds to work on the face portion for Gillan's cast, which will later be adorned with blue colors and portions that look like pieces of machinery. Gillan continues the Awesome Mix theme by including "Come and Get Your Love" by Redbone, which was Peter Quill's intro song as an adult in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Gillan noted that, due to her experiencing claustrophobia during previous molding processes, the method has changed from casting her entire head in one go to now casting her head in multiple steps.

Karen Gillan

The team continues on the face portion of the cast, going directly over Gillan's eyes and nose. This is appropriately captioned "Nap Time," as the actress is forced into some make-up-mandated shut-eye.

Karen Gillan

Gillan's arm is placed into a bowl of goop as well, likely for the new mechanical arm Nebula has sported since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.


Karen Gillan has certainly proved her dedication to the role of Nebula time and time again since she joined the MCU in 2014. After all, this is the same actress who shaved her head bald for Guardians of the Galaxy to embrace every aspect of the troubled daughter of Thanos.

The process for preparing her make-up and costume has evolved tremendously since Phase 2 of the MCU, although it's still plenty of work to build the mold for the costume she sports on screen. Now that this is done, Marvel's teams will begin constructing Nebula's full facial gear to bring the character to life in the Guardians' third solo adventure.

This film will mark Gillan's seventh MCU appearance, although it's unclear where her story will lead after what could be the galactic team's final solo movie. No matter where that leads, fans will have three opportunities to see the heroic cyborg in action as Phase 4 continues.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to debut in theaters on May 5, 2023.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.