Some believed Iron Man was the Soul Stone – bonkers, we know – while others went one step further to suggest that Clint Barton (AKA Hawkeye) had taken it upon himself to retrieve the long-lost gem before Thanos got his giant, grubby hands on it.
Alas, few would have guessed that the Soul Stone wound up on Vormir, and that it was being guarded by none other than Red Skull – a man out of time…and out of luck. It’s seemingly more powerful than the last five gems combined, leaving Josh Brolin’s Mad Titan with little choice but to sacrifice his “little one” in order to harvest its immense, ancient power.
In doing so, he’s briefly transported to some astral plane, where he’s greeted by the young Gamora. It’s a strange, dream-like scene, and coming out of Avengers: Infinity War, viewers had but one question: is Zoe Saldana’s Guardian still alive? Well, co-director Joe Russo recently opened up about that and essentially confirmed as much during a Reddit Q&A:
Yeah…it’s implied it’s the soul stone. It’s all orange around, then he’s inside the soul stone with the amount of power that it took to snap his fingers – he has this out of body experience with Thanos. When he goes inside the Soul stone he has this kind of conversation with the younger version of his Gamora.
So, yes, the Marvel Cinematic Universe includes a Soulworld, which is presumably the place where Spidey, Black Panther and Doctor Strange – not to mention half of the frickin’ universe – are trapped, leaving the remaining members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with one goal: reverse Thanos’ devastating genocide.
As for Gamora? It’s looking increasingly likely that Zoe Saldana still has a future in the MCU, as the director confirmed that Soulworld is where the character currently is.
“She is, in fact. Yes. It was an attempt an attempt on our part- because we don’t like two-dimensional roles or three-dimensional villains every villain is a hero in their own story and as insane and psychotic and brutal and violent as Thanos is he’s a more complex villain if you go on a journey with him emotionally.”
Joe Russo concluded:
“He does care about things and it is complicated for him to execute his plan and it cost him something. He said at the end “It cost him everything” and that it was the only thing he loved which was Gamora which is why we put him back with her at the end. I just want to reiterate with the audience that he does feel true emotion even though he is a monster.”