Guardians of the Galaxy Ronan

Lee Pace has gone on record saying he’d “love” to reprise the role of Ronan the Accuser for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. But it doesn’t look like James Gunn will be granting his wish.

The director has confirmed that Pace will not be back for the next Guardians of the Galaxy adventure — though he isn’t ruling out the possibility of his returning in a future film. Read his Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Lee Pace comment after the jump. 

Gunn broke the news during a Q&A on Facebook (via awesomeemergency). The whole thing is worth a look if you’re really into Gunn or Guardians, but the part that caught our eye were the questions about Lee Pace.

The filmmaker is asked two separate times whether Ronan might return. While he’s noncommittal about the possibility of Ronan coming back eventually (“Who knows”), he’s crystal-clear about whether Ronan will be in the next Guardians of the Galaxy (“But not in 2”).

Lee Pace GOTG 2 (1)

Lee Pace GOTG 2 (2)

That’s unfortunate news for Pace, who has sounded eager to return as Ronan. “I love the character,” he said last week. “I’d love to play him again! Who knows!?” Even at the time, though, he acknowledged he’d be “the last person” whether his villainous character might resurface.

The news isn’t terribly surprising. Marvel Studios can create great superheroes in its sleep at this point, but it’s still struggling to craft equally compelling villains. With the rare exception of Loki and maybe the Winter Soldier, they tend to be one-dimensional figures who lose to the hero in the climactic showdown, and then disappear forever afterward.

Ronan wasn’t any different. Although Pace clearly put a lot of time and effort into the character, Ronan was one of the weaker elements of Guardians of the Galaxy. Obviously a few people want to see him back — like the two fans above who ask Gunn about Pace’s return — but personally, I can’t say I’ll miss him much.

In any case, there’s no need to cry for Pace as he’s doing just fine. His AMC series Halt and Catch Fire returns this year for a second season, and he has a handful of big-screen appearances coming up including the Lance Armstrong biopic Icon.

The Ronan-free Guardians of the Galaxy 2 opens May 5, 2017.

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