Major spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 follow.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 packed a few emotional moments into its runtime but none more than the final sendoff of Yondu.
The character finally opening up about being Star-Lord's real father, the Ravagers showing up to blast the colors of Ogord over his funeral, and Sean Gunn's epic rally cry as Kraglin upon seeing them all paid off because of Michael Rooker's brilliant portrayal of the character. In fact, the former The Walking Dead star was so fantastic in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, ComicBook.com wrote an entire piece about him and his roles.
As it turns out, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was almost the end of the road for not only Rooker and his Yondu character but also writer/director James Gunn. Gunn, who has worked with Rooker on a handful of projects in the past including one his best known (and arguably launching point) films, Slither.
Without Rooker, Gunn almost talked himself out of taking charge of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
"Michael Rooker, for all the crap I give him, is one of my closest friends in the world and the last thing I wanted to do was to make a movie without Michael Rooker in the future," Gunn said in a Facebook live Q&A. "I almost didn't do Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 because there was no Michael Rooker in it and I couldn't see making the movie without him. He means that much to me and I love him that much."
While Gunn has confirmed he will return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after he serves as executive producer on the Avengers: Infinity War projects, Michael Rooker and Yondu will not be back for the final chapter of the trilogy.
MORE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2: Guardians Vol. 2 Originally Included Adam Warlock / Guardians Vol. 2 Nearly Included A Deadpool Movie Reference / James Gunn Reveals Which Fox Character He Would Have Used / James Gunn Clarifies Nathan Fillion's Missing Cameo / Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Closing In On $250 Million
Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.