The Stan Lee cameo has long been a staple of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but back in September 2016 we learned that Lee actually bagged multiple cameos in one shoot day. Indeed, the Marvel Comics veteran flew down to Atlanta while James Gunn was shooting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and not only filmed his cameo for that movie, but also for Doctor Strange and two other films—likely Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. Lee isn’t a super young fella, so it makes sense for him to shoot a few cameos at once instead of having to fly back to Atlanta every few months or so.
But now Gunn has revealed that the Stan Lee cameo we saw in Doctor Strange was just one of many different takes they shot. In the movie we see now, as Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) are fighting, they smash into a bus where Lee is reading The Doors of Perception. But per Gunn, they shot at least three alternate takes:
- Stan reading a book and leaning into the guy next to him, saying, “Do you know what excelsior means?”
– Stan throwing his head back and laughing as hard as he can, yelling, “I’m laughing for no reason! I’m totally crazy!”
– And, my favorite, Stan laughing hysterically at a Garfield book, hooting, “He HATES Mondays but he LOVES lasagna!” Supposedly that one was in the film for a while, but it ended up being too long for the scene.
Gunn says he was actually shooting a stunt sequence with Zoe Saldana at the same time, so while Lee was changing costumes (say, from his Doctor Strange cameo to his Guardians 2 cameo), Gunn would be focusing on the Saldana shoot. It’s a pretty hefty bit of multitasking that’s just a taste of what it’s like to direct a massive blockbuster movie.
As for these alternate takes, while I’m not a huge fan of the “Stan Lee cameo” bit I’ll admit that Garfield one sounds pretty funny. What do you think folks/ Which one’s your favorite?