James Gunn Clarifies Stan Lee's Original Cameo In Guardians of the Galaxy

By Pierre Chanliau Posted:
Guardians of the Galaxy Groot

James Gunn has been one of the more talkative directors in Hollywood when it comes to his online presence. Not only does he give constant updates on the production of his films, some that haven't even begun filming yet like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 , but he also debunks reports, such as him working on Krypto as his next DC project .

Several years ago, when Stan Lee's health was deteriorating to the point that it was too stressful for him to make frequent trips for his cameos, Gunn was the one tasked to film multiple cameos at once for various films, such as Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok .

Now, Gunn has responded regarding the very first cameo he shot for Stan Lee in the original Guardians of the Galax y and how the facts of it have been misconstrued.


Stan Lee Guardians of the Galaxy Cameo

When a fan brought up a piece of IMDB trivia about Stan Lee's original cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy to director James Gunn on Twitter, he swiftly debunked it .

The original piece of trivia on IMDB reads as followed :

Stan Lee's cameo was originally going to feature him as one of the Collector's boxed trophies, giving Groot the middle finger. “Disney” executives didn't like this, and had James Gunn change it to Lee being an alien Casanova.

Gunn clarified that it wasn't Disney that decided to change the cameo, but himself because the cameo “felt like too many beats.” It was based on the pacing and timing of the cameo, not Gunn “negatively” portraying Stan Lee by having him give another character the middle finger.

Ultimately, Stan Lee's cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy ended up being through the scopes of Rocket's scanning device, with Lee playing an elderly gentlemen talking to a younger woman.

Gunn's full response can be seen below:

In fact, way back in 2014 , James Gunn dismissed this same rumor about Disney having forced him to remove this cameo because of it showing Stan Lee giving someone the middle finger.

“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.”

Gunn's full quote can be found below:


It's amazing how blunt Gunn is when it comes to debunking rumors or information regarding future projects .

It's a breath of free air, but Gunn is also a source of a lot of amazing information about the production of his films and insightful opinions about the very franchise he has worked on for years.

Gunn being able to recognize when something wasn't working and cutting it instead of forcing it is admirable, despite how hilarious seeing Stan Lee giving Groot the middle finger would have been. It will be fantastic to see more of Gunn's continued commentary on his work and him answering questions for fans as the years ago on, whether it's about Marvel, DC, or his future original projects.

- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.