Director James Gunn recently released a concept photo on Instagram, showing fans what Stan Lee's original cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy might have looked like. I just want to point out that's not Lee in the photo. It's just a stand in. The original cameo idea was recently revealed by the director at Dragon-Con, but unfortunately, it didn't make it in the film. Here's a description of what Gunn said at the con:
"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."
Here's an updated explanation from Gunn of why the cameo didn't work that was posted yesterday. Gunn posted it after I wrote my original article, which is why my facts were off.
#gotgpicoftheday At a panel on Sunday at Dragoncon, I talked about a deleted @realstanlee cameo in Guardians, and promised the folks there I’d post a photo on Instagram - so here it is! As you can see, this is not Stan, but a double. In the original cut of the film, when the Guardians enter the Collector’s museum, Rocket looks over and sees Cosmo the dog in one display case, Quill looks over into another display case and is surprised by a tentacle slapping against the glass, and Groot looks over and sees, in another display case, Stan Lee. In one take, Stan Lee just slowly turns up his finger, flipping off Groot. We shot this footage with a Stan Lee double because Stan wasn’t able to come to the UK at the time. The plan was to shoot Stan in the same lighting when I was back in LA, and we’d digitally replace the double’s head with Stan’s actual head (not quite as difficult as it sounds). Although I thought the cameo was funny, I thought the flipping off joke was too similar to the moment earlier in the film where Quill flips off the Nova Corps, so I excised that part of it immediately. A couple of the guys at Marvel thought Stan Lee in a case was too broad of a joke in general, and that it took the audience out of the movie. I argued about it for a bit, but we ended up not keeping it in the film. In a pretty typical case of Internet-journalism-telephone, articles online yesterday said that Disney forbade the scene because of standards . However, that’s incorrect - no one at Disney ever even saw the scene, and it was cut solely for creative reasons. #gotg
I still think it would have made for a better cameo.