Guardians of the Galaxy Director Debunks Fantastic Four's Galactus Fan Theory

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Guardians of the Galaxy, Galactus

In the next couple of years, Marvel Studios will bring the final movie in one of the MCU's most successful solo franchises to date - James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This band of heroes helped the MCU expand its cosmic story for the first time behind Star-Lord, Gamora, and more, before the team played a key role in defeating Thanos at the end of the Infinity Saga.

Back in 2014, the Guardians' first movie set the stage for countless potential stories to be explored in later cosmic threads, even though Thor was the first MCU film to tease this path three years earlier. Over the years, the team has had to deal with Ronan the Accuser, Ego the Living Planet, and even the Mad Titan Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet, although Gunn is also known for sprinkling Easter eggs teasing other major entries in all of his films.

Currently, fans are waiting for one of those teases to come to fruition with Will Poulter playing Adam Warlock after both previous Guardians films touched on his arrival. However, Gunn took time on social media recently to put another theory from Guardians of the Galaxy posed on Twitter to rest.

No Galactus In Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter to debunk a fan theorizing that he included a tease for Fantastic Four villain Galactus in his first movie from 2014.

Twitter user @jhammond_ART asked Gunn if the scene with the Collector on Knowhere was meant to reference Galactus. He specifically touched on the moment in the video presentation with a purple screaming face appearing next to the planet being destroyed by the Power Stone.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Along with the image from that scene, the fan included an image of Galactus' birth from the comics, which looks eerily similar to the face

Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

Gunn confirmed that these shots looking so similar was merely a coincidence, speaking on the fact that Marvel didn't own the rights to Galactus before Guardians of the Galaxy was released.

"No. Marvel didn’t have the rights to Galactus in 2014. Just another example of comic book pareidolia - in the millions & millions of comic book panels that exist & the millions & millions of shots in films there is bound to be an enormous amount of coincidental overlap."

Gunn responded to another Tweet lamenting the way fans compare two shots like these and imply they were inspired by one another, particularly looking at some of the more dramatic responses he gets from them:

"Every day someone posts a shot from my film next to a comic panel or still from another film & says - the harmless version: cool how this inspired you! - or the irksome version: you ripped this off!"

To close, Gunn confirmed that he's only "given visual homage" to other pieces of media a few times in his moviemaking career, even only doing it "subconsciously" a couple of times:

"I've purposefully given visual homage to another artwork or film only a handful of times in my entire career. Maybe I've done it once or twice subconsciously. The rest - most - are coincidences.

Fantastic Four Nowhere in Phase 2

Almost nobody from Marvel Comics has seen more hype attached to a potential MCU arrival than the Fantastic Four, especially after their first MCU movie was the curtain call announcement at Disney Investor Day 2020. However, due to Fox owning not only their rights but the rights to their villains in 2014, there was no way Marvel Studios could have even teased Galactus' arrival in Guardians of the Galaxy.

These tweets also serve to show just how often fans look at James Gunn's movies for the most minuscule details that could turn out to be Easter eggs, largely thanks to how often he uses them. Even with so much hype surrounding this one, it appears to be no more than a coincidence that Gunn delivered a shot that looked so similar to something from the comics.

At the moment, Galactus was only seen on screen once in 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, although he only showed up as a massive cloud in space that threatened to destroy Earth. Now that Marvel merged with Fox Studios more than two years ago, thereby regaining the rights to Marvel's First Family, Galactus is free to start his reign at any time Marvel chooses.

Where and when Galactus comes into play is a complete mystery, although Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four is confirmed to be in the early stages of development. No matter when that movie releases, fans will keep an eye out for Galactus' full debut, especially after teases have already been laid out early in Phase 4.

Guardians of the Galaxy is available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.