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Avengers: Infinity War director clarifies Soul Stone theory

Contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War

Prior to Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel fans knew the whereabouts of five out of the six Infinity Stones. Only the location of the Soul Stone was unknown.

In a crowd-pleasing twist, Infinity War revealed that the orange-hued gem was on the planet Vormir, guarded by — surprise! — the Red Skull. In a not-so-crowd-pleasing additional twist, Thanos sacrificed his adopted daughter Gamora to obtain the stone. 

But for a few glorious days in early May, the internet was convinced that Gamora was still alive inside the Soul Stone, thanks to a "misinterpreted" response from co-director Joe Russo during a Q&A at an Iowa high school. But, alas, Russo's remarks have now been debunked ... by the man himself.

A Reddit user posted a rough transcription of Russo's remarks that appeared to suggest that Thanos' adopted daughter wasn't actually dead after being chucked into a pit by dear old dad, but instead temporarily trapped inside the Soul Stone. 

In response to a student question about a scene with young Gamora and Thanos late in the film, Russo reportedly says, "When he goes inside the Soul Stone he has this kind of conversation with the younger version of his Gamora," but he's interrupted by a student asking, "So she's there?" Russo's response, as transcribed, is: "She's in fact is yes."

But Russo has since told ComicBook.com that the reports hailing this exchange as "confirmation" of Gamora's stone-based purgatory were "a misinterpretation" of what he was actually trying to say: "To clarify, it's a spiritual representation of her and obviously that's something that the Soul Stone has power to do. But really it's there to illustrate [Thanos'] pain and his guilt. I wouldn't read much more into it beyond that."

So it looks like we'll still have to wait until Avengers 4 — or maybe even Guardians of the Galaxy 3 — to know the true fate of everyone's favorite green-skinned assassin, and just about everybody else.