– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

To sequel or not to sequel? That’s the eternal question that filmmakers and actors alike ask themselves whenever going into their next project. Growing up in the 1990s, sequels had terrible connotations. More often than not, none of the original creative team was involved, and you were lucky if you saw any of the same actors after the first one. Things have changed since then. 

More than any time in history, the industry is franchise-driven, and filmmakers are facing more pressure than ever to sequelize their films, or get involved in continuations of franchises. Given the great success of Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as the incredibly positive buzz surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 prior to its release, you could imagine that director James Gunn was wrestling through that very question himself.

Should he come back for a third Guardians film, or should he go out on that one high note? Surprisingly enough, that doesn’t seem to have been the biggest influence on Gunn’s thought process. While on a Facebook Q&A on Sunday, Gunn revealed one big reason he wasn’t sure about returning for a third film: Michael Rooker.

If you’ve seen the film, you know that Rooker’s character Yondu makes a fatherly sacrifice to save Peter Quill.

“Let me tell you, there was nothing harder for me than the choice to kill Yondu in this movie. 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. 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.”

Rooker has been in every James Gunn film to date, and you can imagine the trepidation the director would have going into a film without his longtime collaborator there with him. At the end of the day, it sounds like it was the right decision for Gunn to sign on for a third film, and he definitely made the right decision in having Yondu make that sacrifice.

“[Killing Yondu was] the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make from a storytelling perspective. I wrote a bunch of treatments where Yondu did not die. There were other endings — he was saved at the last minute after taking the sacrificial stance, and I wrote many drafts like that. And I realized I was being dishonest. That was not what this story was. For me, the most important thing in making a movie is to tell the truest and most honest story possible, and that’s whether you’re making a $500,000 indie film or a $200 million dollar spectacle film. And the truth of this story, this was about a father’s true and ultimate love for his son. This is a movie about, Who really are our fathers? Who really are our siblings? And the only way for it to be an honest story was for Yondu to die, and anything else would have been half measures, and would have been me backing out because I was afraid to tell the truth. And so that’s why Yondu dies.”

Are you happy to see Gunn return to the fold for the third time, and do you think he made the right decision to kill off Yondu? let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: James Gunn (via EW)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.