Avengers: Infinity War ended with a shocking number of characters disappearing from our screen. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, quite literally, as characters from nearly every stand-alone franchise dissipated before viewers eyes, with Guardians of the Galaxy losing nearly every main characters with the exception of Rocket Raccoon and supporting character Nebula. The loss of so many made fans question everything they knew about Phase IV. For instance, isn't there another Guardians movie? What about the one character who might have outright died, Gamora? How long is left on actress Zoe Saldana's Marvel contract? In case it's not obvious, spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War follow.
Fans have divided the deaths of the characters in Infinity War into two camps. There are those who died outright, via stabbing, having their neck snapped, having their brains ripped out, or going headlong over a cliff. Then there are those who dusted off, and will most likely be resurrected come Avengers 4.
Saldana's character Gamora was part of the former category She was the one who went headlong over a cliff, a sacrifice by Thanos to gain the Soul Stone. She's not in the "easily probably resurrected" zone. So what are the chances of her returning to the franchise? Will there really be a Guardians of the Galaxy 3 without her?
Saldana is not one to talk about her contract, or how much she gets paid in public interviews. But Chris Pratt said to GQ when the first Guardians movie was a hit the cast was signed for "two more Guardians plus another couple." As far as anyone knows that goes for everyone, even the talking rabbit, err raccoon.
Now, all of this should be taken with a large boulder of salt. The fact is, contracts are not slam dunk promises of more films. My current favorite to cite is Felicity Jones, who played Jyn Erso. She was originally slated for two Star Wars movies. Then Rogue One killed her off. Now, to be fair, the original plan was to have her survive Rogue One, and then the ending got changed. But it also helped keep that spoiler under wraps. Game of Thrones actually does it deliberately. Ian McElhinney, who played Barristan Selmy, for instance, was signed all the way through Game of Thrones Season 6 but was killed off at the beginning of Season 5. (McElhinney was famously very upset about this.) They signed him that way because they didn't want fans to know they were killing off a character who is still alive in the books.
If Saldana was signed for three Guardians films (and the "plus a couple more" were Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4), this doesn't necessarily mean she'll actually be in them, especially if her storyline changes. Or it means the writers might just get a little creative and have her appear as a ghost, or in a dream, or in an alternate reality. There are ways to do this without bringing her back.
All that being said, there is something that gives fans hope for Gamora's return. Right after Thanos snapped his fingers, he was transported away, where Gamora was waiting for him, albeit in the form of a child. The theory goes that Thanos went to a pocket dimension called the "Soul World." It's where those sacrificed to gain the Soul Stone go when they die. If Gamora is just hanging out in a pocket dimension, no matter what age she seems to be, fans believe she can be brought back, and she may even be the key to defeating Thanos.
It will be a year-long wait to find out. The Still Untitled Avengers 4 Film arrives one year from now, on May 3, 2019.