[This article contains SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.]
Elizabeth Debicki has only just made her MCU debut as Ayesha, but director James Gunn confirms she'll be back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The all-gold villain played an integral role in the overarching story in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As part of her relentless pursuit to destroy the Guardians, she enlisted the help of the Ravagers, but even then they were no match for the team. But this is only the beginning.
The third post-credits scene for Vol. 2 laid the first hint that Adam Warlock is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that Ayesha is responsible for his creation. With Warlock poised to be a part of the sequel, it was unclear if Ayesha would still have a place, but the director's recent comments have changed that.
During an interview with IGN, Gunn was asked about this specific post-credits scene and what it means as the franchise moves forward. He reiterated that Warlock won't appear before his sequel, but was then asked if Ayesha would get a chance to return. In an answer sure to make fans of Debicki's performance happy, she is part of his vision for the end of the trilogy.
"I absolutely plan on bringing Elizabeth Debicki back. She's actually one of my favorite actors I've ever worked with. I think on this movie between her, Pom Klementieff who plays Mantis, and Chris Sullivan who plays Taserface, they really were three of the best actors I've ever worked with and were all such a joy on this film to deal with that I would love to deal with them again."
This may not be surprising given the post-credit scene, but it is reassuring to see Ayesha get a chance to fully embrace her villainy. The Guardians may have come close to ruining her life, so her drive to create Adam is a nice evolution of the character, while also giving her a more prominent role in the film. If Warlock isn't the big bad of Vol. 3 or eventually embraces his heroic nature, it could further boost her role as the film's possible villain or be her quick demise.
Ayesha's return also makes her one of the few villains to make multiple appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) holds the record, but he is almost more of an anti-hero than true villain at this point. Other than Loki, Thanos will make multiple appearances eventually, Hela and Helmut Zemo seem poised for more too, and Red Skull's future remains a mystery. For now, fans will just have to wait until 2020 possibly to see how Ayesha's next appearance will play out.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently in development and does not have an official release date.