(Note: This post contains light spoilers for “Thor: Ragnarok” and bigger ones for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”)
The deleted scenes on the home video release of “Thor: Ragnarok” are a lot of fun, filled with a ton of extra jokes from the likes of the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), Hulk, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) himself.
But none is quite as much fun as a gag slipped into the final deleted “Thor” scene, in which a character from another Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise — who is also, as it happens, dead at this point in the continuity — shows up for a quick cameo.
The final “Thor: Ragnarok” deleted scene takes place in Asgard, with Skurge (Karl Urban) about to behead an Asgardian as the executioner of Hela (Cate Blanchett). The scene cuts to an unfinished shot of a crowd of Asgardians as someone new wanders up, calling for the Executioner to stay his blade.
It’s Yondu (Michael Rooker), one of the anti-heroes of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. Apparently lost, Yondu calls for the Executioner to “hold up a minute,” before realizing he’s in the wrong film.
“Hey, do you know where Kevin and Lou’s offices are, y’all?” Yondu asks, referring to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and MCU Executive Producer Lou D’Esposito. One of the Asgardians in the scene points Yondu in the right direction. With a “thank you,” he tells the Executioner to carry on with his business and heads out of the shot.
While the joke is a fun nod to MCU superfans, what’s potentially notable about the scene, is that Yondu died at the end of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Seeing Yondu again in full blue paint and head fin as Yondu, then, immediately raises a particular question: Was the joke meant to imply Rooker was looking for Feige and D’Esposito’s offices because he’s returning to the MCU?
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” director James Gunn has publicly said he hates when franchises bring characters back from the dead simply because they’re popular. He also said that while Yondu might show up in a flashback or other glimpse back in time, he’d never bring him back to life because it would undercut the character’s sacrifice.
So does that mean the joke was just referencing Rooker’s work on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” or suggesting he was meeting with Feige and D’Esposito as Yondu for something else? It’s pretty “inside baseball,” all things considered. Then again, rumor has it that Yondu and another dead MCU character, the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), might show up in some capacity in “Avengers: Infinity War” — if only in flashbacks.
Maybe this is Rooker and Marvel’s cheeky way of letting fans know we haven’t seen the last of Yondu.