James Gunn explains Stan Lee’s original ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ cameo

(CBR) It was no surprise to Marvel fans that Stan Lee made a cameo in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but the cameo was originally supposed to be under a very different context.

The film's director James Gunn took to Instagram to post a photo of Lee's originally intended cameo appearance, which was filmed with a Stan Lee lookalike with the intention of digitally inserting Lee's head later.

The original scene saw Lee as a part of The Collector's museum, with the legendary creator “flipping off” Groot from inside a display case.

“We shot this footage with a Stan Lee double because Stan wasn”t able to come to the UK at the time,” Gunn said on Instagram. “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.”

The director was also quick to clarify that cutting the scene had nothing to do with Disney forbidding the scene from the movie due to standards and practices. According to Gunn, “no one at Disney ever even saw the scene, and it was cut solely for creative reasons.”

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is now in theaters.