There have been a lot of great Stan Lee cameos: his “so fired” security guard from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the “Hef” moment from Iron Man, and playing one of his own characters – mailman Willie Lumpkin – in the first Fantastic Four movie. But this news, if it is to be believed, would have meant the best Stan Lee cameo thus far in any Marvel movie would have been in the studio’s latest hit. That is, if the idea hadn’t of been shot down. Unfortunately, even for a film like Guardians of the Galaxy that took a great many chances, this cameo was not meant to be.
While appearing at Dragon Con last weekend with his brother Sean, Guardians writer/director James Gunn told the website Collider that originally he had a very different cameo in mind for Stan the Man. You might recall in the movie, Lee can be seen as a Xandaran citizen who passes Rocket Raccoon’s gaze when he and Groot are looking for a bounty to fetch. Well, that was kind of funny, and it’s now one of a couple of “Hey, that’s Stan Lee with a woman way too young for him” gags in the Marvel movies (much like their “Stan as a Security Guard” trope), but what Gunn had in mind originally for the Marvel U godfather was something a little more, shall we say, saucy. Here’s Collider’s description of Gunn’s take:
“One of the losing battles regarded Stan Lee’s original cameo in the film. Originally, Gunn had planned to have Lee in one of the Collector’s exhibits. Groot would then look at the exhibit aghast, to which Lee would flick off the large tree creature.”
I’m laughing already! Even though me may never see this on the screen, I can see it in my mind and it is hilarious. The gag works on so many levels. First of all, there’s a proud tradition of flipping the bird in science fiction movies:
Secondly, it’s Stan Lee. Giving Groot. The middle finger. Come on!
A couple of things threw salt in the game though. First, the gag is already done earlier in the film with Star Lord flipping off the Nova Corps in the line-up, and the last thing you want to do is back up and go over gags you’ve already done when you’re trying to stuff your story with so many jokes regardless. Second, Stan Lee being more or less the Marvel brand ambassador, it probably didn’t look good if he was a) caged by a megalomaniac seeking the power of universal destruction, and b) being rude with his hand gestures and their R-rated meanings. It would be like if Walt Disney was in the park with an orphan, ringing a bell and yelling, “Boy for sale!” in Mary Poppins.
Having said that, the gag sort of reminds me of that “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons where Comic Book Guy is a super-villain, who I believe was also called “The Collector,” who kidnapped famous genre actors like Tom Baker and Lucy Lawless, and put them in bags to preserve their mint condition. Good times.
I admire Gunn for thinking outside the box in terms of the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. Hopefully he can think of something as funny, if less, um, limited in its appeal, for the sequel.
Guardians of the Galaxy is now in theaters everywhere.
Source: Cinema Blend