For the most part, James Gunn has been left alone to tell his Guardians of the Galaxy story in the MCU, except when he was briefly fired from Vol. 3.
The only time he has been forced to include an element in the trilogy came with the Thanos cameo and Infinity Stone backstory in 2014's original Guardians of the Galaxy.
James Gunn Expected To Cut Viral Guardians 3 Moment
Speaking with JOE, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn discussed the historic F-bomb dropped in the movie, revealing how the moment came to pass and how he was worried Disney would make him remove the line.
The line was uttered by Chris Pratt's Star-Lord to Karen Gillan's Nebula on Counter-Earth, as he walked her through how to open a car door before ultimately ending his explanation with "open the f***ing door." This historic moment marked the first F-bomb ever delivered in a Marvel Studios project.
Gunn explained how the F-bomb was "not in the script" and was instead something he came up with on set and it was ultimately "so freaking funny:"
"The F-bomb was something I was concerned about because it was so funny. So it was like, I didn't expect him to say that, it's not in the script. I said that to [Chris Pratt] over... I have a microphone so I can talk to Chris all the time when we're on set. And I said 'say...' and I told him to say that line. And he said it, and it was just so freaking funny on the day."
The Marvel-turned-DC filmmaker added how he expected Disney to make him remove the line, despite them having "never made [him] do anything:"
"But then a lot of the time things are funny on the day and you don't know if they're going to be funny in the cut. But we put it in the cut and it was just so damn funny. And I was like 'Oh man, Disney is going to make me take this out, aren't they?' They've never made me do anything. And I'm like, 'This is the first time they're gonna make me do something, and I'm going to be bummed out.'"
When he discussed the F-bomb with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, he noted how there was almost one in Avengers: Endgame but the directing Russo brothers "didn't want that to be their legacy." However, that was certainly something Gunn was more than happy to add to his résumé:
"And Kevin Feige just said one day, I said 'What about that f-bomb?' And he's like, 'Well, you know, the Russo brothers had one in ['Avengers: Endgame'] at one point. And, you know, it got a big applause, but at the end of the day, the Russo brothers were like... They didn't want that to be their legacy. And Kevin said 'if you want that to be your legacy, then sure.' And I said, 'Kevin if you think you're scaring me away instead of just enticing me even more to put this in the movie you're crazy.' And so that's how it happened. And then he laughed his ass off."
The MCU's F-Bomb History Explained
The Russo Brothers were clearly apprehensive about dropping the MCU's first F-bomb in Avengers: Endgame. The movie's writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely previously revealed to Empire Podcast how Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man would have delivered this in his final words to Thanos in place of the now-iconic "I am Iron Man" mic-drop:
McFeely: “I think there was 'f**k you' at one point. Didn’t he say 'f**k off?'"
Markus: “He may have said it… you do a lot of takes. Like can we really end all this on a complete swear? On a kiss my ass Thanos?”
But while the Endgame team may have had their apprehensions about breaking that historic MCU boundary, James Gunn was more than on board with the idea. And that should come as no surprise given this is the same man who delivered the outrageous The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker over at DC.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's F-bomb came at the perfect time, not just because the filmmaker has now firmly switched sides to become DC Studios CEO, but also because he just managed to beat Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool 3 to the punch, as the 2024 R-rated flick will undoubtedly be packed with adult language.
The MCU has been hovering the line with the F-bomb for many years now, with the franchise packed with censored attempts at dropping one. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever even had the curse in its script, and Gunn even had Bradley Cooper's Rocket blurt out a few in some footage.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is playing now in theaters worldwide.