There is no denying that the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies released so far are some of not just Marvel‘s biggest hits, but some of the most exciting and brilliant films of the contemporary superhero genre. While there are only a handful of little tweaks here and there that even the pickiest nerd would dare to suggest, the creators themselves have hinted multiple times now about the little – and not so little – differences that they almost made. Almost always, these differences would’ve been incredible to see had they made it into the final cut.
Last month, actor and all round nerd hero Nathan Fillion revealed an exclusive picture on Instagram of him on set in costume on Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, offering fans a glimpse at what might have been had his cameo not eventually ended up on the cutting room floor.
Writer and director James Gunn, with his usual frankness, has now explained via Facebook why he felt he had to make such a difficult decision:
“As many of you know one of my best friends in the world is Nathan Fillion. Along with Michael Rooker and Gregg Henry he’s been in every movie I’ve directed, even as a monstrous, perverted voice in Guardians of the Galaxy. I didn’t have a good cameo for him in Vol. 2, and I wanted to bring him more fully into the MCU at some point, so I didn’t want to make him Aakon Guard #2, narrowing his chance of a more substantial role in the future. I really do love the character of Simon Williams/Wonder Man in the comics, a sometimes douchey actor/superhero, and could see Nathan clearly in that role (not because he’s a douchebag but because he’s great at playing one). But, of course, in a movie set 99.9% in space I didn’t really have a place for him. So in a small flash to earth I decided to put a theater playing a “Simon Williams Film Festival,” with six Simon Williams movie posters outside. Obviously, from the posters, he’s had a run of B movies. Most of them in themselves are Easter eggs of some sort or another. Unfortunately, the small section of the scene where they appeared slowed down the movie and I had to cut the Easter eggs from the film (along with storefronts named after comic book luminaries Starlin, Mantlos, Annett and others). Equally a bummer was that a lot of people took photos of these posters on the day so suddenly every fan site was reporting that Nathan was playing Wonder Man in he movie. He was even the third-billed actor on IMDB! So that’s the full story. Nathan’s only cameo in the movie ever were these posters. I’ll post them all over the next few days. And, yes, I think we can consider them canon for the MCU, and I hold onto hope that Simon Williams will rise again!!”
His reasoning makes a lot of sense and even gives us a little hope that we’ll get to see more of the elusive character at some point in the future. In the meantime, though, we have those posters to look out for.