Heading into a Marvel movie, we can always expect two things. One: We're sure to have a good time. And two: A Stan Lee cameo. It just wouldn't be a Marvel movie without Stan the Man showing up in some capacity, and Guardians of the Galaxy was no exception. In fact, the creator of the Marvel universe as we know it today was set to appear in two different scenes in this sci-fi epic. Only one of them made it into the movie. Direrctor James Gunn now shares a photo from the deleted Stan Lee cameo featuring a stand-in, and explains why it's not in the finished film.

Take a look at the image from James Gunn's Instagram, and then read on for more details:

The scene in question actually has Stan Lee sitting inside the Collector's Museum. Visiting Dragon Con, director James Gunn explained the scene in detail for the first time, saying that Stan would have appeared alongside a Chituari soldier, Dark Elf, Adam Warlock's cocoon, Cosmo and Howard the Duck. Groot discovers Stan Lee in his cage, only to be flipped off by the creator of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It was stated that Disney did not approve this cameo, and thus a second cameo was shot, which features Stan Lee as an aging Hugh Hefner-type playboy surrounded by beautiful alien babes who is targeted for a bounty by Rocket Raccoon. In sharing the above photo, James Gunn explains the real reason behind the scene being cut, which mostly had nothing to do with Disney not approving it for standards and practices.

"At a panel on Sunday at Dragoncon, I talked about a deleted Stan Lee cameo in Guardians, and promised the folks there I'd post a photo on Instagram - so here it is!

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As you can see, this is not Stan, but a double.

In the original cut of the film, when the Guardians enter the Collector's museum, Rocket looks over and sees Cosmo the dog in one display case, Quill looks over into another display case and is surprised by a tentacle slapping against the glass, and Groot looks over and sees, in another display case, Stan Lee. In one take, Stan Lee just slowly turns up his finger, flipping off Groot. We shot this footage with a Stan Lee double because Stan wasn't able to come to the UK at the time.

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. 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."

What do you think? Would this scene have pulled you out of the movie?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange