James Gunn has revealed why Yondu will remain dead in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Actor Michael Rooker played the character in the first two installments of the franchise and has said more than once that he'd love to return. "You know what? I loved the character... I don't know how they could do it, but of course it's possible," Rooker recently said when asked about a return as Yondu. Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have been wondering about the upcoming third installment and how it will work with the overall trilogy storyline, especially after Avengers: Endgame.
James Gunn answered some fan questions over the weekend, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was an obvious topic of conversation. The death of Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also came up. "There are angry fans no matter what choice you make. I still get hate messages for Yondu dying," he said to one fan. This led to a deeper discussion about Yondu, where Gunn stated that his death is "integral" to the story. Gunn then had this to say when one fan suggested that Yondu could come back as evidenced by the comics.
"I get sometimes you can bring back characters in a cool way. But usually, if a character dies, & it's a meaningful part of the story, the character should stay dead. So unless it's a flashback, Yondu will stay dead, as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, it ruins his sacrifice."
James Gunn also noted that while he gets some angry messages about Yondu dying, he also gets far more people coming to him and "saying how deeply those deaths affected them." The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen a lot of death over the past few years, thanks to Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The Russo Brothers, along with screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, have maintained that the deaths in those movies will remain permanent.
Avengers: Endgame also introduced a time traveling component, which means that just about anything is possible when it comes to bringing characters back. For instance, Gamora was killed in Infinity War and now she's back, though from a different timeline. As for Michael Rooker returning as Yondu, it is very possible, but it sounds like James Gunn intends to keep him dead in this current timeline.
Michael Rooker recently joked about coming back as Yondu for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. "Anything's possible in the Marvel universe, you know, there's time traveling and all that kind of stuff," he said. "So yeah, of course it's possible. But will they be able to afford me? I don't know. At Marvel, they don't have a lot of money you know, it's really tough out there!" While Rooker was clearly kidding around, Marvel Studios may end up calling on him to get some flashbacks taken care of. For now, we'll just have to wait and see what James Gunn has decided to do. You can check out Yondu's current status above, thanks to James Gunn's Twitter account.