Zoe Saldana Is Ready To Leave Marvel

Zoe Saldana accepts that she might be done playing Gamora and does not miss the make-up process.

By Sean Thiessen | Published

Gamora’s galaxy-guarding days may be behind her. In a talk with Variety, actress Zoe Saldana admitted she would miss playing her part in the acclaimed Marvel films, implying that director James Gunn’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 may be her last outing in the role. 

As Saldana reflected on her time as Gamora, she couldn’t help but call out the makeup process for the character. “I miss Gamora,” she explained, “but I don’t miss 3:30 a.m. calls and five-hour makeup sessions and trips to the dermatologist afterwards.” A head-to-toe body paint job every morning would likely take its toll on anyone, and Saldana has endured the process for nearly a decade.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, set to hit theaters on May 5, 2023, comes nine years after the film that introduced the wacky crew to the big screen back in 2014. Over that time, Saldana has appeared in four Marvel films, with the upcoming cap to the Guardians trilogy marking her fifth, and possibly final, appearance.

Saldana’s co-star Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer, has been straightforward about saying goodbye to Marvel after Guardians 3. James Gunn said the final installment of his trilogy will mark the end of the line for this cast and crew. While Marvel is unlikely to put one of its most beloved super teams to bed for good, it seems any future iteration of the Guardians will feature an altered lineup. 

For Zoe Saldana, being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a blessing. She told Variety that the reactions from fans young and old have kept her going all these years. Early call times and dermatology appointments aside, seeing how much Gamora and the story of the Guardians has meant to people has inspired Saldana. The impact Marvel films have had on children, in particular, sparked a sort of epiphany for her. “They have feelings too and if something impacts them, just because we consider it stupid or immature or cheeky, doesn’t mean it’s not special.”

While Saldana spoke about Gamora in a retrospective tone, she also stated she, “…can never say no to anything,” leaving the door open for Gamora’s return down the line. For now, however, no such appearance is planned.

Marvel is not the only franchise Saldana lends her talents to. She returns this December to the wild world of Pandora as Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, the long-awaited sequel to Cameron’s record-breaking 2009 film. 

zoe saldana

While it remains to be seen if Saldana will be beaming back up to the Enterprise anytime soon, Zoe Saldana keeps plenty busy, even without franchises like Star Trek or Marvel. This year she appeared alongside fellow Marvel alum Christian Bale in director David O. Russell’s wacky ensemble film Amsterdam. She can also be seen in the new Netflix series From Scratch from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.

As old chapters close and new ones open for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Zoe Saldana’s time in the ever-unfolding superhero story may be nearing its end. However, with ambitious crossover projects like Avengers: Secret Wars on the horizon, the temptation to put a smile on fans’ faces may be too much to resist. Even if that means an extra trip to the dermatologist.