Although comic books are well-known as being a medium where death is rarely permanent, the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t been shy with killing its characters…well, the villainous ones anyway. With a few exceptions, most of the bad guys have met their demise either at the hands of the heroes or in another fashion. Guardians of the Galaxy's Ronan the Accuser was one of the individuals on this list, meeting his demise at the hands of the Guardians. If you’re one of the fans that was holding out hope to see Ronan miraculously return for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, forget it. The Kree fanatic will not be returning to antagonizing our heroes in the near future.
Last night, director James Gunn held a Facebook Q&A about all things Guardians of the Galaxy. When asked whether Ronan would be returning to the galaxy, Gunn responded:
"Who knows. But not in 2, no."
However, he does seem amenable to Lee Pace returning to the franchise at some point, telling another fan who would like to see him again, "Perhaps someday." Pace recently expressed interest in returning for the sequel, but it doesn’t sound like there’s any room for him in the Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
For those who need a refresher, Ronan was incinerated by the Power Orb after Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax and Rocket directed its energy at him. It’s possible that the only time we’ll see Ronan again is though flashbacks (like exploring his relationship with Nebula), but it would be much more interesting if they pulled a classic comic book trope: rising from the grave!
There’s an important thing to remember about comic book deaths: if there isn’t a body, they’re either not really dead or won’t be dead for long. There’s room for Ronan to return if Marvel decides they want to work with Pace again. Despite four of the Infinity Stones having appeared so far, there’s still not a lot we don’t know about the ancient artifacts. Perhaps people zapped by the Stones aren’t truly killed. The Red Skull met a similar fate in Captain America: The First Avenger when he touched the Tesseract and was launched into a strange portal. Many have speculated the Red Skull could somehow return in Captain America: Civil War, so if the former Hydra leader could be revived, that means that Ronan’s chances of returning to life are just as likely.
If it’s not the case, remember that whoever wears the Infinity Gauntlet with all six stones attached will gain near-unlimited power. When Thanos obtains the Gauntlet in the Avengers: Infinity War movies, he could revive Ronan from the dead. Granted, the Mad Titan is probably still pissed about the Kree’s betrayal, but he would certainly make an effective soldier against the Avengers and other Marvel heroes.