When they return this May in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel's cosmic Avengers are going to be welcoming some new members to the team. In addition to Pom Klementieff's Mantis (seen in the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 teaser trailer), the team's numbers are going to be bolstered in their mission against villain Ayesha by returning characters Yondu and Nebula.
Nebula (Karen Gillan) was a key supporting antagonist in the original 2014 movie, bitterly and violently jealous of sister-cum-Guardian Gamora and their adoptive father Thanos' affection for her. The pair parted on less than savory terms, but based on recent comments it sounds like blood - even of colorful space aliens - is thicker than water. But what of the future? With her now a team member in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel and the Guardians set to appear in Avengers: Infinity War (something Zoe Saldana also talked about last week), will Nebula be sticking around for the 2018 epic?
It sounds like she is; speaking to BBC Scotland on the set of her directorial debut, Tupperware Party, Gillan confirmed that she will indeed be in Marvel's mega team-up:
"So look out for those [her 2017 movies - Guardians, Jumanji and The Circle]. And then I'll be making a little appearance in the next Avengers movies."
The crucial word there is "movies", which would suggest that Nebula won't just be in Infinity War, but the currently untitled Avengers 4 in 2019. That film was initially announced as Infinity War - Part 2 but later had a title change when the story evolved and marketing determined more standalone (read: complete) stories was a better path to go. Despite the reversal, the plan still appears to be to shoot the movies back-to-back (and alongside Black Panther and Ant-Man and the Wasp) and comments like Gillan's point towards some stronger narrative connection than usual sequels.
That said, her calling it a "little appearance" means that while Nebula will appear it might not be for very long or of that much story significance. What this means for the rest of the Guardians' screen time will depend on Nebula's relationship with them at the end of the sequel. Given that she's got a familial link to the ultimate villain Thanos and thus a greater reason to appear though, it may not be as much as some fans have hoped. Especially given Nebula's key role in the Infinity Gauntlet comics story line which is the source of inspiration for the Avengers 3 and 4.
Gillan was also asked about her thoughts on the recent news that Avengers: Infinity War is looking to shoot in her native Scotland - "I was like, 'What are the chances of that?' It's amazing!" - although she did sound skeptical that any of those scenes would involve Nebula:
"I hope so. I have a feeling it's going to be sod's law and all my stuff will be over in Atlanta where the rest of the shoot is happening. But we'll see - finger's crossed."
Hoping to see Nebula turn against Thanos when it all shakes out in Marvel Phase 3? Share your thoughts in the comments!
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018