Warning: Major Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 spoilers ahead!
It can never be an easy decision to kill off a major character in superhero franchise, but we’ll say this for James Gunn and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: the writer-director and his new hit film give Yondu Udonta a helluva send-off.
After a more antagonistic role in Vol. 1, Michael Rooker’s dart-shooting blue man not only becomes a valuable member of the Guardians in Vol. 2, he’s largely responsible for the film’s surprising emotional power. As you know (or hopefully as you know, if you’re reading this spoilerific post), after dealing with shade from his old Ravagers pals (lead by Sylvester Stallone’s Stakar Ogord) and a mutiny from his own crewmen, Yondu pays the ultimate sacrifice and goes all Bruce Willis-in-Armageddon to save adopted son Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) in the film’s teary climax.
Yahoo Movies asked Gunn and Rooker about the big death at the film’s Los Angeles press day, which you can watch above.
“It was very hard for me to make that choice,” said Gunn, who is close friends with Rooker off screen. “I felt like it was the true ending of the story, that’s the way that Yondu was able to fully express his love for his son. [He loved him] so much that he was able to give up his life for him.”
“For me to make that choice was more difficult because I’ve made five movies with Michael Rooker. And I don’t want to have to make a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 without him. It was hard for me to make that choice but it seemed to be what was best for the story.”
For a pair of old buddies, one (Gunn) certainly enjoys killing off the other (Rooker). Of the five movies directed and/or produced by Gunn and co-starring Rooker, the actor has died spectacular deaths in four of them (Guardians 2, The Belko Experiment, Super, and Slither).
Though Rooker is not so sure Yondu does die in Guardians 2. “I don’’t know if he really [killed me],” Rooker said. “Think about it. Think about that whole sequence of what happened in this movie. Your whole concept of the D-word will be totally opened up.”
Told Rooker seems to be unaware of the finality of his character’s fate, Gunn cracked, “I didn’t tell him. He hasn’t seen the movie yet.”
Watch the cast discover that it’s James Gunn who performs Baby Groot’s dance moves:
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