Many actors in the MCU have already confirmed their departure or expressed their desire not to return to the enormous franchise, but one actor wants their role recast after their exit.
Scarlett Johansson recently disappointed fans by expressing how she was definitively "done" with the character of Natasha Romanoff, which could preclude her from even appearing in Avengers: Secret Wars. But that character has a legacy replacement thanks to Florence Pugh's Yelena.
Another actor soon leaving the MCU will be Dave Bautista's Drax in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Fans weren't too surprised by this news, considering how Bautista seemed to become jaded with the role over the years.
Another Guardians alum will be leaving in the upcoming threequel but has expressed how they want their role to be recast, not shelved.
Zoe Saldana Doesn't Want Gamora To Leave With Her
In an interview with GamesRadar+, via Total Film, actress Zoe Saldana revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would be her swansong in the MCU as Gamora. Saldana believed that "the time [had] come for [her] to step down, and for the next generation to come forward."
However, she doesn't want "Gamora to go away" since she has been "such an impactful character for fans, and especially female fans, and young female fans:"
“The one thing I would not want is for Gamora to go away. She’s been such an impactful character for fans, and especially female fans, and young female fans. I would love for Marvel to figure out a way to find that next generation of actors that can incarnate these characters, and give them this immortality that fans generationally keep coming back to...”
Saldana is still thankful for her time as the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy, having initially "signed up for one" and getting ten years of steady work:
"But me, per se? I mean, I signed up for one, and I got 10 years. Lucky me, man. I have no complaints. And I’m moving on with so much grace and gratitude in my heart."
One likely culprit for Saldana finally leaving the role could be the makeup process for the green-skinned alien warrior.
In a past interview, she said that "[she] can never say no to anything," but "[Gamora's] green makeup? I wouldn't be upset if it didn't happen again:"
“I can never say no to anything, but that green makeup? I wouldn’t be upset if it didn’t happen again... I miss Gamora but I don’t miss 3:30 a.m. calls and five-hour makeup sessions and trips to the dermatologist afterwards.”
Saldana's last time as the Daughter of Thanos at least offers a performance, as she'll be playing a younger, time-displaced Gamora. During her GamesRadar+ interview, she described the time-displaced warrior as "not a Guardian" and that "[Gamora] doesn't remember them. They never happened. She never happened for them."
The actress said Gamora's drastically different personality was "really hard, I think, for the Guardians to accept," but that "It was fun – and painful, of course – to play this kind of Gamora."
Should Marvel Studios Recasts Become More Acceptable?
Zoe Saldana is clearly outspoken about her character being recast in a future appearance without her. In fact, over a decade ago, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was fully supportive of this practice, ala James Bond.
Of course, exceptions exist not to recast roles, such as Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa. This is something that would have been too painful for director Ryan Coogler and the cast. But outside of that exception, Marvel Studios has made it more of a habit to phase out characters rather than recast them.
After all, Hawkeye and Steve Rogers have retired in-universe, along with others like Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff being killed off. But from the sound of it, Saldana's time-displaced Gamora doesn't appear to die by the end of the Guardians threequel.
Would Marvel Studios just put the character on a bus until Saldana was willing to return in who knows how many years or recast? The latter is more than feasible, especially with Saldana encouraging the studio to recast her in this interview.
Fans can see Gamora's fate when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 releases in theaters on Friday, May 5.