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Endgame directors address Gamora's fate after Tony's snap

The heroes and villains of the Marvel Cinematic Universe got snap-happy in Avengers: Endgame, and one click of the fingers created a potential problem for a much-loved character: Zoe Saldana's GamoraAvengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have addressed the green-skinned heroine's fate, but their answer isn't as crystal-clear as most fans might hope. 

Obviously, there are Endgame spoilers coming up, so if you're one of the few people who haven't had the chance to catch the film in theaters, we advise you avert your attention elsewhere. 

After Avengers: Endgame leaps forward five years following the fallout of Avengers: Infinity War to the year 2023, the surviving heroes concoct a plan to travel back in time, collect the Infinity Stones ahead of when Thanos (Josh Brolin) took them, then jump to the present to equip their own Infinity Gauntlet and resurrect their fallen compatriots. The time heist mission is successful, despite a number of hiccups along the way, and the heroes who were dusted in Infinity War came back to life to fight a final battle against Thanos. But those characters weren't the only ones who returned to the MCU in Endgame: Gamora did, too — but as the 2014 version of herself prior to Guardians of the Galaxy and prior to her death at the hands of her adoptive father, Thanos, in Infinity War. She showed up in 2023 after Professor Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) used his Infinity Gauntlet to bring back the dusted heroes, and before Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) snapped his fingers to decimate Thanos and his army. 

This raised a pressing question: If 2018 Gamora was killed when Thanos sacrificed her to obtain the Soul Stone in Infinity War, what happened to 2014 Gamora after Tony's snap?

Chatting with Business Insider's Travis Clark, the Russos said that there's an equal chance that 2014 Gamora was spared in Tony's snap as there is the possibility she died alongside Thanos and his supporters. Additionally, Marvel fans will likely have to wait until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters sometime in the future to learn what really happened to Gamora post-Tony's snap. 

"We don't know whether she was dusted or whether she survived," said Joe Russo. "That's probably a question that Guardians [3] will answer."

Shutting down any speculation about whether Gamora's fellow Guardians know the answer, Anthony Russo added that Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is just as in the dark as fans are. "Quill doesn't know either," he said. 

Joe Russo then noted that he's confident "future films will answer that question." 

When Clark commented that it's "up to" Guardians Vol. 3 director James Gunn to fully unravel the mystery, Anthony agreed, saying with a laugh, "Exactly, we've done our job."

It's not all that implausible to think that 2014 Gamora may have survived the climatic battle between Thanos and the Avengers and co., despite her seemingly being considered a part of Thanos' intergalactic army and not appearing in physical form after Tony's snap. She does, however, show up on a screen map in the Guardians' ship the Benatar at the end of the film. It seems evident that Star-Lord and the rest of the team, including new recruit Thor (Chris Hemsworth), will embark on a mission to locate Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Considering how pivotal to the franchise Saldana's Gamora has been, it's only right that she would emerge once more for the trilogy-ender.

If and when Gamora returns in the third Guardians film, it's basically guaranteed that the heroine will be the 2014 Gamora who flashed forward in time in Endgame. The Gamora who played a part in the first two Guardians movies and Avengers: Infinity War is dead and cannot be revived. As Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus once explained, "When Gamora went off that cliff [in Infinity War] the Gamora from that time period died." Joe Russo confirmed elsewhere when speaking about Black Widow's (Scarlett Johansson) death, which came when she sacrificed herself so that Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) could seize the Soul Stone in Endgame, that non-snap deaths are permanent

"[The] process is irreversible. Even if you have returned [the Soul Stone] to its original location, you wouldn't be able to get the person back. In fact, it's not really returning the stone, more like put it back properly. The tribute soul for the Soul Stone will forever be sealed in that place, therefore Black Widow is gone forever," said Russo. If Black Widow and Gamora experienced the same demise, that means Gamora is gone forever as well. 

Past Gamora may not be, though. And even if she was dusted when Tony snapped his fingers, there's a chance she could return to life in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That film isn't slated to begin filming until next year for a potential release in 2021 or 2022, so Marvel zombies will have wait patiently until then to find out the whole truth.