How the Watchers Wound Up in Guardians of the Galaxy 2
If you still haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by now, there will be some SPOILERS regarding a certain cameo by Stan Lee, and one of the five post-credit scenes. While this sci-fi adventure features the most stingers Marvel has ever used in a single movie, we also get to see Stan Lee twice. Once midway through this rip-roaring sequel, and again at the very end of the credits. Although, some hardcore Marvel fans are wondering how this particular scene even came to be, since there are some character rights issues involved. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige answered that question, but if you want to avoid all SPOILERS, you should stop reading now.
Stan Lee's first appearance in the movie is quite a brief one, as he's seen between the space and time portals that Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) and Yondu (Michael Rooker) are all travelling through. While most believed that this brief moment was all we'd see of Stan Lee, fulfilling his now legendary cameo obligations, he also showed up in the last post-credit scene, where he's seen conversing with other members of The Watchers, an alien race from the Marvel comics who are tasked with overseeing the galaxy. Stan Lee mentions his time as a FedEx deliveryman, which was his cameo appearance in Captain America: Civil War. During an interview with /Film, Kevin Feige was asked if Stan Lee's conversation with the Watchers means he has been the same character in every Marvel movie. Here's what Kevin Feige had to say.
"Certainly something to be considered. We shot a lot in that moment when he came down to Atlanta to film that. Let's just say he, Stan Lee, is certainly is a different type of entity within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who can hang out with the Watchers and tell them stories about all his cameos."
There has been speculation that Stan Lee is actually the Watcher named Uatu, who has been assigned to watch over Earth, but in the actual Guardians 2 credits, he's listed as The Watchers Informant. It was believed that Marvel didn't actually own the rights to The Watchers as a whole, since it was believed they fall under the Fantastic Four franchise that 20th Century Fox owns. Kevin Feige confirmed that Marvel Studios actually has joint custody of these characters. Here's what Kevin Feige had to say about the joint custody of The Watchers, and how Stan Lee's post-credit scene came about.
"There's joint custody with a number of things. There are certain characters that they have, but races that we share. If that makes sense? James is always throwing things to Stan and always getting Stan to try more things. And in one of those times, he said, he told the Watchers not to walk away and Stan just called after them as they're walking away. And it was so funny that we put that at the very, very end of the movie."
Back in November, it was also reported that another key character came to Marvel through a "trade" with 20th Century Fox. Deadpool writer Paul Wernick revealed that 20th Century Fox already owned the rights to Negasonic Teenage Warhead, but they wanted to change her powers, which resulted in getting approval from Marvel. Marvel came up with the idea for a trade, with the studio allowing the Deadpool writers to change Negasonic Teenage Warhead's powers, in exchange for the rights to Ego the Living Planet, who was played by Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.