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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a behemoth in the film industry, with the last decade and change of filmmaking cumulating in last year's Avengers: Endgame. The Russo Brothers' pair of Avengers movies covered a ton of narrative ground, with plenty of moments ending up on the cutting room floor before it hit theaters. As such, there's always new information coming out regarding Endgame and Infinity War. The latest tidbit explains why Karen Gillan's Nebula didn't wield the Infinity Gauntlet like her character did in the comics.
Nebula is one of the most fascinating characters in the MCU, as she's transformed from an antagonist to a sister and teammate throughout her tenure on the screen thus far. Fans were hoping to see Nebula get revenge on her father for the years of torment, possibly with the help of the Infinity Stones. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely recently participated in a watch party for their Avengers movies, where Markus explained why Nebula never got the gauntlet. As he put it,
Well, that clears things up. It looks like Nebula's wielding of the Infinity Gauntlet would have made Tony's eventual acquisition less impactful. It was a huge twist when Tony swiped the Stones from Thanos, and had the bravery to wield them as a human. It ultimately cost Iron Man his life, and Nebula had the potential to hinder that storyline.
Christopher Markus' comments come from his recent participation in Comic Book's #QuarantineWatchParty. He and Stephen McFeely offered plenty of new tidbits that went into the production of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. They also fielded questions from the fans, which is how we got his answer about Nebula's scrapped use of the Infinity Gauntlet.
This turn of events to the film's editing process make a great deal of sense given what we've learned about the crafting of Avengers: Endgame's ending. Tony's sacrifice seemingly came into play late into the process, as the character's iconic utterance of "I am Iron Man" was one of the last things shot. As such, it makes sense that Nebula's Infinity Gauntlet might have stayed in the script for a while before eventually getting the chop from the writers.
As for Nebula, I'm not sure she needed the revenge by the final battle of Avengers: Endgame. Her trauma was exposed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which allowed she and Gamora to become real friends and sisters. As for Thanos, she did get a final confrontation with him in the opening sequence of Endgame. The Mad Titan admits he was too harsh on her, right before Thor unceremoniously decapitates the villain. From there, Nebula is given five years to grow as a person, and connect with the remaining survivors of Thanos' snap.
Marvel fans can re-watch Avengers: Endgame on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
In the original draft of Avengers: Endgame, it was the 2014 of Nebula that wielded the Infinity Gauntlet. After acquiring the stones for her father, she tried to prove that she was powerful and worthy to Thanos. That past Nebula would attempt to wear the Gauntlet, only for the Stones' power and radiation to kill her. It's a differently tragic ending for that version of Nebula, but would have definitely cheapened the impact of Tony's death. Plus, the current-day Nebula had the chance to kill her old self for the last time, putting the 2014 version down to save Gamora.
It should be interesting to see where Nebula's story goes from here. She'll likely pop up briefly in Thor: Love and Thunder, as the Guardians are expected to have a role in Taika Waititi's upcoming blockbuster. But the real meet of the group's story will be explored in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.. Nebula will likely be a key to getting 2014 Gamora to join the group, and she's also got a much closer relationship with Rocket.
Thor: Love and Thunder is currently set to arrive in theaters on February 11th, 2022, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 doesn't have a release date yet. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.