Marvel Stopped James Gunn From Killing Off Gamora in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

“I thought she was the one that was going to sacrifice herself,” Gunn said

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL)

Zoe Saldaña’s Gamora may have technically been killed at the hands of Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War,” but originally, it was supposed to be at the hand of James Gunn.

According to the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director, he had originally planned for her to die in the second movie of the trilogy.

Ahead of the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which is set to be the final outing of the Guardians as we originally met them, Gunn told that in the earliest iterations of the second film, Gamora would be the one to die, instead of Michael Rooker’s Yondu.

“I knew from the beginning Zoe only wanted to play the character for so many years, and she’s been very honest saying that she’s done [after this],” Gunn explained. “And so I was going to have her die. I thought she was the one that was going to sacrifice herself, and Quill was going to learn about himself, as opposed to in the second movie, and I thought different of it.”

Gunn noted that he “was kind of talked out of it by Kevin [Feige] and Lou [D’Esposito],” especially with plans for the end of the Infinity Saga looming. After talking with them, Gamora’s death “just didn’t work that well” or “feel right” for the story.

“I think at the time I was afraid of killing Michael Rooker because he’s my friend,” Gunn continued. “So I felt bad about killing Rooker and I didn’t want to do that. But that was where the story naturally progressed to. So a lot of the things that I was planning on dealing with, I dealt with through what the Russos did, which they called me up and said, ‘We’re thinking about this, does this work? Can you work with this?’ And I went, ‘Got, yeah. I really can.’ And I think it works really well for the third movie.”

And for those wondering, yes, Gamora is back in the threequel — but she’s not the Gamora fans or the other Guardians knew.

At the end of “Endgame,” Gamora returned, but it was Gamora from the past. In her timeline, she had yet to officially desert Thanos, and had never met Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). She has no memory of her time with the Guardians.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” hits theaters on May 5.