A reading of James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 script left star Karen Gillan in "floods of tears," says the Nebula actor about the conclusion to the Marvel Studios trilogy. Gillan, who last appeared in Avengers: Endgame and will return in Thor: Love and Thunder before Vol. 3, revealed the reformed space-criminal is rebuilding her life after the deaths of adoptive father Thanos (Josh Brolin) and her sister Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Ahead of what is expected to be the final chapter for Gunn and Gillan's co-star Dave Bautista, Gillan recalls reading the script with co-star Pom Klementieff:
"We read it in the same room together and then looked at each other, and we were in floods of tears," Gillan told Yahoo! Movies, adding the third movie is "so emotional."
"You're learning more about existing characters and on a deeper level," she said. "I'm really excited at exploring Nebula, post-Thanos."
After directing The Suicide Squad for DC and Warner Bros., Gunn returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Vol. 3 begins production later this year. Last month, Gunn hinted at multiple deaths when Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Bautista), Mantis (Klementieff), Kraglin (Sean Gunn), Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), and Rocket Racoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) embark on their final adventure as a team.
Whether or not Nebula survives Vol. 3, Gillan has said she's "not eager" to move on from the role she's played since Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. The new movie explores a Nebula who helped save the galaxy in Endgame, where a version of her once-hated sister lives on after time-traveling from 2014.
"In Avengers, she had to face the source of her abuse, then actually watch him get eliminated from her life," Gillan said during GalaxyCon Live last summer. "I'm sort of thinking about future Nebula in the sense like, 'What is she going to be like now that that person's abuse has gone out of her life? How is she going to build herself back up again?' Because it's an odd feeling, I think, for someone who's been abused by a parent, because they still love them and they're sad that they're gone, but also they hate them and they're glad that they're gone."
Her cyborg character has "just had a really hard time of it," continued Gillan, who has "sympathy and empathy" towards the ex-villain. In Vol. 3, Gillan said, "I'm interested to maybe try and take her to a place now where she's starting to rebuild her life."
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5, 2023.