Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Michael Rooker Would Return to the MCU, But Not as Yondu

Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker would return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a new role, but says bringing back Yondu after the character was killed off in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 would "spoil" the "most amazing sendoff ... in cinematic Marvel history." The blue-skinned space pirate died giving his life to save his surrogate son, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a.k.a. galactic outlaw Star-Lord, after helping defeat Quill's biological father, the Celestial known as Ego (Kurt Russell). Both Rooker and Gunn have agreed never to resurrect Yondu, with Gunn declaring Yondu "will never be brought back to life as long as I'm around."

"No way, I'm dead. I'm dead. My character is dead," Rooker said on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast when asked if he's included in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. "I would play something else, I wouldn't mind. I would play something else, but why would I want to play Yondu? Yondu had a wonderful, [the] most amazing sendoff that you would ever want in cinematic Marvel history."

"My god, dude, why do you want to spoil that by bringing the character back now? I'm with Gunn," Rooker said. "There's consequences when you die, you're supposed to stay dead! What the hell you coming back for? Why are they bringing all these schmucks back? Give me a break. Move on, do another movie."

The actor later called Yondu's touching goodbye with his son a "beautiful moment," praising it as one of the most memorable scenes from his career.

"The moment when I take Chris Pratt's head and his face in my hands, during Guardians of the Galaxy 2. That was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful moment," Rooker said. "How can you not [get emotional]?"

During a Virginia convention appearance last month, Rooker said he was originally going to appear in the first Guardians of the Galaxy in a different and smaller role — that of Korath the Pursuer, portrayed by Djimon Hounsou in Guardians and Captain Marvel — because of a scheduling conflict with The Walking Dead, where Rooker played bully hillbilly Merle Dixon until the zombie drama's third season.

Rooker was only able to accept his role as Yondu after he was informed his character was being killed off in The Walking Dead.


Rooker next re-teams with Gunn in the DC Universe when he appears alongside Margot Robbie and Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad. Pratt reunites with franchise co-stars Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper in the currently undated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.