The “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” montage at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty goddam neat – with the crew all aboard Star Lord’s ship in high spirits; it’s a happy ending. However, James Gunn has been discussing his alternate ending whilst doing the promotional rounds for the upcoming Blu-ray release. The writer/director revealed that the final montage was originally going to include extra scenes for three more characters including: The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Grandpa Quill (Gregg Henry). These scenes were actually filmed by each of the actors with two eventually being cut from the final version of the film (The Collector’s scene was just relocated).
Gunn sat down with /Film and elaborated on why the extra scenes at the end of the movie were eventually cut from the final version of the film. He describes and discusses the scenes and how he feels about them on a personal level. Below are quotes taken from Gunn talking about the scenes featuring Nebula, the Collector and Grandpa Quill:
“There are three characters that got cut out [of the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” montage]: Nebula, the Collector and Grandpa Quill. Nebula and Collector we decided, at a certain point, they’re kind of bad guys in the first movie. It was a real joyous experience with that finale so we thought we’d keep it to the characters that were part of “the good team.” Which includes Yondu. He did fight on the good guys side. So we thought we would keep it to them.”
“Grandpa Quill we cut because he was in old age make up and we were a little afraid people wouldn’t recognize that it was him from the beginning of the movie. And also, it was a pretty sad moment. It was Grandpa Quill and he has this photograph of Meredith and Peter as a little boy and he looks up at the stars and we go up to the stars and it was really sweet. It means that he must have seen Quill getting abducted at the end of that day and is still waiting for him to return but it was freaking sad so we took it out.”
“Nebula’s was actually my favorite. Nebula’s I really liked a lot because she’s lost her arm and she’s just pissed off and she’s just walking through this field all pissed off with a busted Ravager vehicle behind her. And she’s just pissed off and I loved it.”
Now dissecting from the quotes, first of all Gunn says that Nebula and Collector are “kind of bad guys in the first movie,” which hints at the possibility that they may not necessarily be antagonists’ in the second movie. Also, the Collector scene was actually still left in the movie as at the end credits, with the scene involving a certain cameo appearance from Howard the Duck (…and just a small part of us would really like to see another incarnation of Steve Gerber’s crime fighting master of Quack-Fu).
Star Lord returning to earth to tell Grandpa Quill about all of his stories up in space could make for a nice little one-shot and would be akin to a live-action Futurama, with Quill checking out all the technological advancements and perhaps making another mix tape for his next space adventure (hey, …one can only dream).
It’s quite nice that Gunn is so close to the characters and this is quite evident with his choice to omit the scene involving Grandpa Quill standing outside with a photograph of Meredith and a little boy as he is gazing into the stars. This is testament that he must have seen Quill being abducted as a little boy and is still awaiting his return. It would be quite a nice sentiment, but alas, Gunn found the scene “so freaking sad”, and worried if anybody would realise that it was actually Grampa Quill under all the make-up to make him appear older.
It seems like Gunn perhaps wanted to include Nebula’s scene at the end despite it jarring with the high-spirited montage with the team as he seems pretty excited when discussing it. Who knows, perhaps some of these issues could have been some of the problems that Gunn experienced whilst working with Kevin Feige and maybe he is just being diplomatic about the whole thing. However, that is merely speculation. The scene itself sounds quite epic.
One of the major disappointments is having these scenes described to us and knowing that they have already been filmed and excluding them from the Blu-ray release. No doubt the Blu-ray will be packed with extra goodies and a few Easter eggs, but it would have been quite nice to have these extra scenes made available to us. I suppose the saying ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ applies in this instance as the film is going to look fantastic on Blu-ray and it will be on a majority of folks Christmas lists.
The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Blu-ray hits stores December 9. But stay tuned fellow Bastards, as we’ll be having a look at the extra features when they are made available.