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GOTG Vol. 3's James Gunn Has A Good Reason For Killing Off Your Favorite Characters

The release of the third "Guardians of the Galaxy" film is right around the corner, and there's a feeling in the air that fans might not want to actually see the long-awaited threequel. Not because the trailers have advertised a disappointing movie or because any of the cast members have phoned in their performances, but because it seems like an incredibly sad cinematic affair. It's the end of an era, and if the trailers are to be believed, Marvel Cinematic Universe die-hards may have to watch some of their favorite characters meet their ends.

Of course, this is a James Gunn-directed feature at the end of the day. If the silver screen storyteller has proven anything, it's that he doesn't do such shocking things in his works without sound reasons. When it comes to killing off characters, he has explained that he doesn't take such drastic measures if he doesn't feel it serves the stakes of the story at hand. "People know I'm a guy who's willing to go there, and I think that the movies have to feel like that. Whether it's true or not, the movies have to feel like their lives are really at stake, and in most movies, I don't feel like that," Gunn explained in an interview with Collider.

In some cases, Gunn has even killed off characters that he didn't want to for personal reasons but knew it had to be done.

Gunn didn't want to kill of Yondu, but he knew he had to

One of the most emotional deaths in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date is that of Yondu (Michael Rooker) in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." He makes the ultimate sacrifice for his surrogate son, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), saving him from his actual father, Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell). His demise has stuck with MCU fans in the years since it first took the silver screen by storm, and understandably so. It was a pivotal moment for Quill and Yondu, though James Gunn wasn't initially planning on the scene becoming a reality.

"I didn't want to kill Yondu. Michael Rooker is one of my very close friends, and I had him surviving in my first draft because I want to work with Rooker again and I wanted to put him in the next movie," Gunn told Collider, but at the end of the day, he had to face the facts. Yondu's redemption was tied to his death, and Quill needed to lose someone important in his life at that point. Had Yondu survived, the story would've lacked an emotional gut punch and each character would've lacked something vital to their arcs.

We'll just have to wait and see who could potentially be on the chopping block when "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" premieres on May 5, 2023.