Massive spoilers ahead for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Massive.
Considering the huge audiences of shared universes like the MCU, keeping plot details tightly under wraps is of the upmost priority for the studios. And when you factor how closely the actors are being monitored by the rabid fanbase, this has become increasingly difficult in recent years. The folks at the MCU seem to be cognizant of this, and have actually gone to great length to throw folks off their tracks, and therefore allow for more moments of surprise and magic in the moviegoing experience. That's exactly what happened when Guardians of the Galaxy actor Michael Rooker was spotted on the set of Avengers: Infinity War.
With production of Infinity War underway, a variety of Marvel actors have been seen onset, specifically rocking some sweet hats. And it turns out that Michael Rooker's visit to the set was purely so Yondu's death in Guardians 2 would be a surprise. James Gunn divulged this on Twitter, saying:
Very sneaky, Mr. Gunn. This plan is actually pretty damn brilliant, and the mission was definitely accomplished.
A few months ago we reported about Michael Rooker's Instagram post, where he was seen rocking some of the sweet Infinity War swag. This surely seemed like a confirmation of Yondu's inclusion in the film, as fellow Guardians cast members like Sean Gunn had done the same type of announcement via social media. But it turns out we've been bamboozled, as the photo was a red herring related to Yondu's heroic death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It was one of the most emotional moments in MCU history, so keeping the secret definitely seems like an important priority.
While Yondu was a bit of a lovable antagonist in the first Guardians film, James Gunn flipped the script with the sequel. Guardians 2 was very much about the subject of family, and when it was revealed that Kurt Russell's Ego was the true villain, Yondu's softer side came to light. Despite kidnapping Peter Quill from Earth as a child, he actually kept him from Ego's grasp by adopting him as a member of the Ravagers. And while his childhood was no walk in the park, Star-Lord would have likely died if he'd went home with his father.
And now that we know that Yondu's appearance in Infinity War was all a clever ruse, one has to wonder what other tricks Marvel is employing in order to keep their plot details a secret. While this move throws some credibility out the window, it's surely worth it to ensure that audiences have an unbiased and spoiler free experience at the theaters.