James Gunn may have given Howard the Duck a new lease on life when he reintroduced the character back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his first Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. But he absolutely hates the 1986 movie produced by George Lucas. And there is one really specific reason why, outside of it being an awful adaptation of the once very popular Marvel mallard.
Howard the Duck made his infamous return in the Guardians of the Galaxy post-credit scene. And ever since, fans have been hounding Marvel for a stand-alone spin-off featuring the anthropomorphic water fowl. That hasn't happened yet, and it's unclear if Howard will return in this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. But director James Gunn has made one thing clear, and he doesn't mince his words. The original Howard the Duck 'sucks'!
Released in summer 1986, Howard the Duck arrived in theaters as a huge bomb. And it made fans of the character quite angry. Sure, it has gone onto have a healthy life as a cult movie, but even those who claim to hold an affinity for it nowadays aren't praising it for its aesthetic. James Gunn was one of those disappointed fans, who first saw the movie when it original debuted. He recently opened up about that traumatic experience with Yahoo! Movies. He says this about returning home from the theater after that first fateful viewing.
"I was young and I went so excited about it. That movie sucks! That movie's terrible!"
What made the experience so terrible for the future filmmaker? It mostly has to do with Howard's look. One thing in particular really bothered Gunn. He explains.
"I wasn't hip with the Caucasian eyelids. That upset me because they had the puppet, and it was a duck, and instead of having feathery or white eyelids, he had Caucasian eyelids and it was creepy."
When it came time for James Gunn to breathe new cinematic life into Howard the Duck for both Guardians of the Galaxy and the MCU, he went with a very different look for the mallard. And instead of having another man in a suit, the character was now being fully rendered in CGI. Howard is seen sipping a cocktail alongside Benicio Del Toro as the Collector. And it was a moment that both shocked and surprised just about everyone in the audience. About bringing the character back after his awful 80s excursion, Gunn says this.
"I'm a huge Howard the Duck fan. For people who don't know, I'm a huge Marvel Comics fan, but Howard the Duck was maybe my favorite character as a kid. I went back and I collected all of those comics, I had every comic he was ever in."
James Gunn won't confirm or deny that he might be planning a Howard the Duck standalone movie as part of Marvel Phase 4. heck, he won't even commit to directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 yet. Though, there is a very good chance we may see Howard return once again in Guardians Vol. 2. Now, only if he was the one to save the world from Thanos in Avengers Infinity War. That would be incredible, indeed.