The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its secrecy, and the hoops the studio jumps through in order to try and avoid spoilers. It's a method that has mostly paid off, save for a few slips over the past ten years. The pressure to keep a lid on things has only increased since the release of Avengers: Infinity War in April, with the massive cliffhanger ending that was Thanos' finger snap of death.
Karen Gillan's Nebula was one of the lucky Marvel characters to survive Thanos' snap, and was stranded on Titan with Tony Stark as the rest of that group turned to dust around them. Everyone wants answers about what's going to happen next, and that includes Gillan's mother. As the Guardians of the Galaxy actress recently recounted:
Pretty sneaky stuff. Despite having given birth to Thanos' daughter, it seems that Karen Gillan's mother isn't privy to much information before the general public. And as such, she must result to quick-witted trickery in an attempt to glean Nebula's plot line.
Karen Gillan's awesome mom story comes from the actress' appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The conversation with the late night host ultimately turned to her ongoing role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially since Nebula managed to survive the snap. The remaining characters will presumably team up to get their revenge in Avengers 4, which might help make Nebula a larger role in the greater MCU.
Of course, you can't really blame Karen Gillan's mother for trying to get some information out of her daughter. The fandom was left with mouths agape at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, as Josh Brolin's Thanos actually succeeded in his quest. After slowly accruing the Infinity Stones by any means necessary, Thanos is able to wipe out half the galaxy at once. It seems like the MCU couldn't possibly continue after such a loss, and with so many characters turning to dust.
But despite the film being released back in April, there has been no information about Avengers 4 coming to the fandom. Instead, the MCU continued its previously scheduled programming, bringing movies Ant-Man and The Wasp and Captain Marvel to theaters instead. The latter will arrive shortly, so it's only a matter of time before clues about Avengers 4's contents start being released.
There's been so little information about the upcoming blockbuster, so the fans have been left to wonder and theorize for months. In fact, Avengers 4 still doesn't have an official title-- that's how close Marvel is guarding its future contents. But with a trailer set to arrive any day now, perhaps the title, setting, and plot of The Russo Brothers' next movie will finally hit theaters. Including how Nebula fits into the universe post-snap.
Nebula has already had a fascinating tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite only appearing the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies before jumping into the massive ensemble project that was Avengers: Infinity War. In the first Guardians, she mostly served as a supporting villain and way to keep the threat of Thanos in the MCU back in Phase Two.
Nebula's bloodlust was her primary goal in Guardians of the Galaxy, although the inner workings of her psyche and trauma were exposed during James Gunn's critically acclaimed sequel. Guardians 2 once again showed Nebula attacking her sister Gamora, but the motivation became a bit clearer. Like Gamora, Nebula was kidnapped by Thanos. And every time her sister bested her in combat, the Mad Titan would replace a bit of her flesh with a mechanical upgrade.
The two sisters were briefly reunited in Infinity War, where Thanos tortured Nebula in order to procure the Soul Stone's location from Gamora. He succeeds, and unfortunately it seems that scene may have been their last. Thanos killed Zoe Saldana's Gamora in order to be given the Soul Stone, a revelation that Nebula came to at the wrong time during the battle on Titan.
Ultimately, the news of Gamora's death ruins one chance to stop Thanos from uniting the stones. Nebula's realization sets Star-Lord into a rage, as he strikes the Mad Titan just when Spider-Man nearly got the gauntlet off his hand. Thanos ultimately snaps out of Mantis' hypnosis, and is able to best the Guardians and Avengers in combat, with Doctor Strange handing over the Time Stone to save Iron Man.
Nebula is one of the most complicated characters in the MCU, as she's one that constantly surprises the fandom with the mix of her badassery and vulnerability. And while she isn't killed during Thanos' snap, she's left just as lost as the rest of the surviving Avengers. Nebula is presumably stranded on Titan with Tony Stark, mourning the loss of her sister, as well as half the galaxy.
It should be fascinating to see how Nebula is involved in the plot of Avengers 4, and if she ultimately ends up as one of the good guys. Thanos' murder of Gamora is yet other trauma brought onto Nebula's psyche, and her unpredictable nature seems to open up the narrative possibilities. If Avengers 4 has a time jump since the end of Infinity War, The Russo Brothers can use the macguffin to make liberal changes to Karen Gillan's character, if they so choose.
Nebula might be alive in the MCU, but her future is ambiguous after Avengers 4. The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is on indefinite hold following the firing of James Gunn, and it's unclear whether or not Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is going to come to fruition. With so much of the property based around the personal taste and perspective of Gunn, it seems almost impossible to craft a threequel without at least his draft for the script.
Answers will arrive when Avengers 4 hits theaters May 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.