Guardians of the Galaxy: Nebula Was Supposed to Die, Says Karen Gillan

While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has former enemy Nebula joining the team, it seems that the first film originally planned her death.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 quickly approaches, marking the highly-anticipated sequel to a 2014 team entry that was the risky dark horse of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, one of the more notably touted occurrences in the sequel, with Karen Gillan’s former foe Nebula joining up with the titular team, becomes more poignant in the context of a revelation about the character’s originally planned fate in the first film.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Gillan unveiled an intriguing anecdote about Nebula’s evolving role in the Guardians mythos, going from villain to kind-of-hero: It seems that Nebula was originally slated to die in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. When asked if she could have imagined that Nebula’s arc would end up the way it did when she first started fielding the role, Gillan provides a potent answer, stating:

“No, I did not actually. I definitely had a feeling that there was room for the character to expand in the future, but she was originally supposed to die in the first movie, I think I remember in the script.”

Gillan, former Doctor Who companion, star of the ill-fated ABC sitcom Selfie and co-star of this month’s drama The Circle, initially shaved her famously red locks for her Guardians of the Galaxy role as the alien rogue Nebula and apparently saw the role as a one-off. In the first film, working on behalf of Lee Pace’s villain Ronan, she tangled with the team, specifically, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Nebula’s step-sister through father-figure Thanos. However, contrary to the original script, the cybernetically-modified blue-skinned beauty managed to escape the film’s climactic events, living to fight another day after having displayed impressive fighting skills and enhanced durability. As Gillan further explains of Nebula’s role in sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:

“She obviously did not die, then I found out that she was coming back in the second movie and then I found out we got to explore all these amazing things about her past and her relationship with Gamora, her sister, so I was really happy.”

It’s rather interesting that an early Guardians of the Galaxy script, written by director James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, would have a fateful Marvel Comics character such as Nebula die in her first film appearance. Fans familiar with Marvel Comics’ Infinity Gauntlet 1991 comic book event series – the inspiration for next year’s mega-movie event Avengers: Infinity War and its unnamed 2019 sequel – know that Nebula plays a key role, at least in the comic version of the story. Nebula, the purported granddaughter of Thanos in the comics, helps the Mad Titan in his megalomaniacal endeavor to achieve omnipotence with the Infinity Gauntlet until she betrays him, taking the Gauntlet for herself in an omipotent ownership that would be cut short after it ends up on the hand of Adam Warlock.

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Nevertheless, Nebula joins the titular “a-holes” in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which hits theaters on May 5. She’s also booked to reprise the role in Avengers: Infinity War in a run that just might emulate her comic book case of celestial kleptomania when that film arrives on May 4, 2018.