Yesterday, we reported that James Gunn had a different plan for Stan Lee’s Guardians of the Galaxy cameo. For those who have seen the film, you know that Lee pops up fairly early in the film as a guy hitting on a young woman on Xandar. In an Instagram post, Gunn explains he originally intended to have the scene play as “Rocket looks over and sees Cosmo the dog in one display case, Quill looks over into another display case and is surprised by a tentacle slapping against the glass, and Groot looks over and sees, in another display case, Stan Lee.” Then Stan Lee would flip off Groot. It’s a cute gag and fits the irreverent tone of the rest of the film, but Gunn’s decision to cut it makes sense.
Hit the jump for Gunn’s explanation about why he removed Stan Lee’s original cameo from Guardians of the Galaxy, and to get a look at what the cameo would have looked like.
Gunn posted an image of the display case with a body double sitting in for Lee. Lee wasn’t able to come to the U.K. for the shoot, so the plan was to digitally put his head on the double’s body.
But when it came to put it together, Gunn felt the joke was repetitive since Quill flips off the Nova Corps earlier in the movie, and I agree it was a wise decision to provide a different cameo on that basis. However, he also mentions that “A couple of the guys at Marvel thought Stan Lee in a case was too broad of a joke in general, and that it took the audience out of the movie.” That’s a poor argument since the Stan Lee always takes people out of the movie, but it’s only for a brief, amusing moment.
Gunn also made it clear that Lee flipping the bird had nothing to do with Disney’s standards and practices department. “In a pretty typical case of Internet-journalism-telephone, articles online yesterday said that Disney forbade the scene because of standards,” said Gunn. “However, that’s incorrect – no one at Disney ever even saw the scene, and it was cut solely for creative reasons.”