Karen Gillan’s Nebula is set to step into the limelight in Avengers 4. Her and Rocket Raccoon are the only cosmic MCU survivors of Thanos’ snap, and she’s got a more personal beef than most with the Mad Titan. And yet, the character might never have made it past Guardians of the Galaxy if it weren’t for Gillan’s performance in her screen test for the role.
From what we understand, the scene itself was written specifically for the test and was never intended to be in the film, consisting of a heavy moment between the two daughters of Thanos. According to the actress, here’s what happened:
The fact that all of this has happened with the character is really surprising but not, because when I did the screen test for Nebula, it was quite an emotional scene between her and Gamora, which never made it — it was a fake scene, so it wasn’t in the movie. Well, it was an emotional scene, but I started crying during it [laughs]. And then James Gunn really responded to that, I remember, and then we felt that we’d found this whole other aspect of a character that could have just been bad, you know?
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It’s presumably at this moment that James Gunn realized he had something special on his hands in this pairing of actors and re-evaluated his plans to kill off Nebula at the end of the movie. This was even written into the draft of the script that Karen Gillan was working from, so it seems like a very late development in production.
With the status of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 currently up in the air, Avengers 4 might be our last chance to see the Nebula/Gamora plotline get resolved. And given how talented Gillan and Zoe Saldana are, I hope the Russo Brothers can find a couple of moments in what’s sure to be a chaotic and action-packed superhero smorgasbord to give them some time to say goodbye to one another.
Plus, I can’t wait to see how Gamora interacts with some of the Earth-bound members of the MCU. I suspect she’d get on quite well with Black Widow and maybe she could even give the Winter Soldier some tips on mechanical arm maintenance?