One of the most endearing parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the random and reoccurring cameos by Marvel comics legend Stan Lee in every Marvel movie before his passing in November 2018. The beloved comics creator also made memorable appearances in the first two Guardians Of The Galaxy films. Now, director James Gunn has clarified a misconception of Lee’s cameo in the first Guardians movie.
Recently, a fan reached out to James Gunn on Twitter, sharing a caption that claimed Stan Lee's original Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 appearance was cut by "Disney" executives. Gunn then replied to the fan, setting the record straight:
James Gunn, who has made tributes to the memory of Stan Lee, provided an honest answer to the fan who asked to see a photo of the initially planned cameo, which involved Stan Lee being one of The Collector's trophies that the Guardians encounter in the first film. Lee was originally supposed to be seen giving the middle finger to Groot as well, but the director scrapped the scene, thinking it added too much to an already packed sequence.
James Gunn goes the extra mile and sets the record straight on the exact nature of the change in question. The information Gunn replies to on Twitter basically implies that Disney forced the filmmaker to change the scene because they didn’t find it appropriate. Though it would appear that Disney actually had no problem with the scene and that Gunn was merely being conscious of what would work better in that moment.
James Gunn ends his clarification by acknowledging the anti-Disney wording the trivia fact implied, asking why Disney is in quotation marks. Gunn is assuring fans who may be concerned with the creative control of their favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe entry that it's not that deep. As a matter of fact, there's clear evidence in the film itself to show that such a scene wouldn't have been a problem. Peter Quill does flip off the members of the Nova Corps. early in the film after all.
Marvel continues to honor Stan Lee with memorials and easter eggs, but his cameos will continue to be unique to him and only him. His cameos will continue to be a special part of the beginnings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, going forward, hints and easter eggs in his memory will be a fun thing for Marvel fans to parse over in new installments in the franchise.
With Guardians 3 hopefully on the horizon and the new and improved The Suicide Squad breaking trailer records as of late, James Gunn is continuing to make his mark on the comic book movie world. Shout out to him for taking the time to clear the air about a key fact regarding his 2014 film. The transparency is much appreciated.
You can check out both of James Gunns' Guardians of the Galaxy film by streaming them on Disney+.