Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the MCU, next year's Avengers: Infinity War promises to be an all-action adventure like nothing we've seen before. Thanos is coming to Earth, and he's bringing his armies with him. We're expecting to see every Marvel big-screen hero to date assemble in order to challenge the Mad Titan, but will they be enough?
Fans have long expected the movie to feature at least one or two resurrections. After all, the Infinity Gauntlet itself is in play, meaning we'll see the power of both the Soul Stone and the Time Stone. Either could easily be used to reverse death. Now, in the latest intriguing hint, an Infinity War theater standee has added weight to that theory...
Two Surprising Additions
The standee is divided into two character groupings, both set against a cosmic backdrop. Surprisingly though, each grouping includes a character who's died. On the one hand, you have Michael Rooker's Yondu. On the other, you have Tilda Swinton's Ancient One.
It's not the first hint we've had at Yondu's return. Back in February, Rooker posted images to social media that teased he was on the set of Infinity War. That was before we knew the character would die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and James Gunn later clarified that the photos were an attempt to ensure fans didn't predict his film's third act. Gunn's been insistent that Yondu won't return, arguing:
"I am not into this old school way of doing things where you kill characters, and then you bring them back, and their deaths mean nothing. Yondu is dead. It's sad. I mean there could be a prequel Yondu film or a flashback or something like that so he could exist in the past, but he's not going to come back to life so long as I'm involved with Marvel."
It's a pretty definitive statement. So, why is Yondu on the Infinity War standee?
Take A Closer Look At The Standee
Ironically, the standee itself gives us an answer. Infinity War isn't just the most exciting Marvel movie of all time, it's also the 10-year anniversary celebration of the MCU. The standee seems to be in honor of the anniversary as much as of Infinity War. After all, Iron Man is pictured in the Hulkbuster armor from Avengers: Age of Ultron, rather than in the armor we know he'll wear in Infinity War.
What's more, the standee also features the Wasp. Speaking at New York Comic-Con back in 2016, Evangeline Lilly told fans she's definitely not in Infinity War, although she's expecting to appear in Avengers 4.
We know that Marvel aims to celebrate its 10-year anniversary in style, and even recently assembled a massive photoshoot of everyone who's ever played a significant role in the #MCU. This standee seems to be part of that, rather than a hint Yondu and the Ancient One will return from the dead. The Ancient One and Yondu appear simply because they're both important parts of the MCU's history.
Now, it is possible that the Time Stone and/or the Soul Stone will be used to raise the dead during Infinity War. But this standee is not evidence of potential resurrections. Instead, it's simply an exciting hint at the scale of #Marvel's planned celebrations next year. What's more, given James Gunn's insistence that dead is dead when it comes to Yondu, it will be very surprising to get anything more than a flashback from Michael Rooker going forward.
Do you think Marvel should resurrect Yondu and the Ancient One? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!