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James Gunn Reveals He Almost Killed Off Stan Lee In ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’

James Gunn Reveals He Almost Killed Off Stan Lee In 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

If there has been one tradition the Marvel-verse that Kevin Feige and company could happily dispose of, it’s the now standard, and usually awkwardly inserted, Stan Lee cameo. What was once a nod to the man who gave birth to generations of characters has turned into an increasingly unimaginative chore, and a piece of fan service that, frankly, nobody would miss. And if James Gunn had his way, he would’ve ended it once and for all in “Guardians Of The Galaxy.”

If you’re one of the five people on the planet who hasn’t managed to see the movie by now, it’s currently available on home video, and never one to let press opportunities pass them by, Marvel has Gunn doing one last run on the interview circuit. Chatting with Jeff Goldmith, the filmmaker revealed his original plan for Lee, who would’ve been caught in one of The Collector’s glass boxes.

“He wasn’t going to be liberated. We were going to murder Stan Lee. Yeah, we killed him. That’s one of the main reasons why it’s not in the movie,” he explained. 

“Originally, when they walked through, they come into the Collector’s museum, and they walk in there. And they’re walking up there, and we look over and we see Cosmo, who growls at Rocket. And if you’ve ever read ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ Cosmo and Rocket don’t like each other. Cosmo’s a space dog. And then they look over here, and Quill looked into this box that was full of steam, and this tentacle shoots out, and he jumps back. And he’s embarrassed and he’s scared in front of Gamora. And then, we went to another box, and Groot looks inside it, and it’s Stan Lee just sitting there,” Gunn elaborated.
“And we actually did two different versions. We did one where Stan Lee was just sitting there, and one where he looked at Groot and just gave him the finger. But it wasn’t really Stan Lee, because we were in England, and Stan’s an older gentleman, and he couldn’t make the trip. So we did it with a double. And then we were going to digitally replace his head with Stan’s head, which we were going to shoot later,” he continued. “But we weren’t sure if we should add it. Kevin [Feige] thought it was a little bit too jokey. And then also we very clearly saw Stan Lee’s box exploding, when the thing explodes. And I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if Stan Lee’s … these are the kind of ideas that I would come up with and Marvel would say I think that’s ‘Super’ James Gunn … but Stan Lee’s head is rolling into frame.’ And anyway, so we didn’t do that.”

While we understand Marvel’s reluctance to behead their icon, you gotta admire Gunn trying to at least go for it. But alas, Lee’s cameo lives on, and as long as he’s still able to do them, they will be shoehorned in at any and all opportunity. [via ScreenCrush]

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