Ever since the cult TV series Firefly and the follow up feature film Serenity, Nathan Fillion has been a geek community favorite. Many fans hoped he would land the role of Hal Jordan in 2011’s Green Lantern film, although considering its 26% Rotten Tomato rating, he dodged a bullet. Fans have also campaigned for him to play everything from the new Star Trek captain to Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie.
The fact is, he has shown up in a number of comic book films, but it has only been in cameo roles or voicing parts. His biggest geek cred comes from being the voice of Hal Jordan in four DC animated features (Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League: Doom). Before that, he voiced Steve Trevor in 2009’s animated Wonder Woman film. However, his only live action comic book role is a bit part in Guardians of the Galaxy as the unnamed Kyln prisoner who Groot gives a good sinus cleaning.
Which brings us to his “cameo” that was cut from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. More an Easter egg than active cameo, Fillion was featured on a number of movie posters as Simon Williams, who comic book fans know becomes the ionic energy-powered hero known as Wonder Man. Sadly, the scene the posters were in didn’t make the final cut of the movie. Nevertheless, Fillion and director James Gunn have both tweeted pics and info about the fun nod. When speaking with The Ara Show on KISS FM in Vancouver (BC), Fillion talked about the unused Simon Williams posters and what they could mean for the MCU going forward.
“I was going to be an Easter egg in the background…[there was] a Simon Williams Film Festival, and I was in all of the movie posters,” Fillion revealed of the posters’ context in the movie. “If you know the Marvel Universe, Simon Williams becomes Wonder Man, becomes an Avenger. So, he’s part of that universe. It was a neat little Easter egg, it was a neat little piece of the universe. It didn’t get into the movie. That’s fine. That happens all the time. I still had the same wonderful experience. But moving forward, I don’t know, let me see what we can do with this opportunity. That’s just a cleverly disguised opportunity. Am I right?”
Fillion’s comments are actually quite accurate; not only has Simon Williams been an important Avenger, in the original Guardians of the Galaxy’s timeline (Earth-691), he becomes a Guardian and goes by the alias Hollywood. Whether Gunn had this in mind when he cast Fillion is unknown at this point, but in a tweet about the posters, Gunn said, “We can consider them canon for the MCU, and I hold onto hope that Simon Williams will rise again!”