Seeing how Avengers: Infinity War featured half the Marvel universe getting turned to dust – not to mention Guardians of the Galaxy regular Gamora being thrown to her death – Gamora’s adoptive sister Nebula has done pretty well to have lasted as long she has. In fact, while Karen Gillan’s character has evidently made it at least as far as the end of Marvel’s Phase 3 with the upcoming Avengers 4, the actress herself initially thought that she’d be out of the franchise after just one movie.
In the first Guardians film, Nebula’s place in the drama doesn’t go much beyond the role of just another baddie for the titular heroes to thwart. Understandably, Gillan didn’t foresee a lengthy future for her character.
“I thought when I signed onto the first Guardians that I was going to shoot for eight days and then die,” Gillan said with a laugh at Fan Expo Canada. “That’s what it was in the script.”
Despite these humble beginnings, Nebula has since bloomed into a more complex and relevant figure with a surprising amount of staying power in the MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in particular, served as a pivotal moment in her development, as the child of Thanos reconciled with Gamora and made the transition from villain to ally in the struggle against the Mad Titan.
While Gillan apparently didn’t anticipate this multi-movie journey, the actress still argues that this potential for a compelling arc has been engrained in the character since the very beginning.
“It’s funny because that’s kind of where she ended up a little bit. So I think that that was always there within the character, it just hadn’t been tapped into yet. And then, eventually, she found her way there,” Gillan said.
“So I kind of knew she had the opportunity to go there and didn’t think that she would, but the fact that she did made me really happy as an actor.”
It’s been quite a voyage for Nebula, but it’s not over yet, with the character surely looking to get her revenge on Thanos in next year’s Avengers 4, or at least make a new BFF. Either way, the movie is hitting theaters on May 3rd, 2019, and you can bet that the cyborg is in for one emotional ride.