While discussing Marvel’s blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” on “The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith” podcast, director James Gunn revealed that Stan Lee was supposed to die during his cameo appearance in the movie.
Originally, Gunn had planned two scenarios with Lee — in the first, Lee would appear in the Collector’s museum and flip off Groot when he caught his eye. The second scenario would have Lee sitting in his box, the museum exploding, and Lee’s head rolling into frame.
The first tactic would require digitally placing Lee’s head over a double since he couldn’t make the shoot, and Gunn decided that the scene would be too similar to a previous scene, when Quill flips off the Nova Corps.
As far as killing Lee, Gunn told Goldsmith, “We very clearly saw Stan Lee’s box exploding, when the thing explodes. I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if Stan Lee’s’—these are the kind of ideas that I would come up with, and Marvel would say, ‘I think that’s super James Gunn’—but, ‘Stan Lee’s head is rolling into frame.’ And anyway, so we didn’t do that.”
Instead, Lee appears briefly flirting with a younger woman while the Guardians are first being introduced on Xandar.