If reports are to be believed, there's one thing "Guardians of the Galaxy" won't have in common with the rest of its Marvel Cinematic Universe cousins, and that's a cameo by the man himself -- Stan Lee! As one of the founding fathers of the Marvel Universe, the 91-year-old Lee has popped up in well over a dozen comic book movies, spanning from 2000's "X-Men" all the way up to this past November's "Thor: The Dark World." According to Lee, he won't be appearing in Marvel Studios' first foray to another galaxy because he didn't have a hand in their creation.
"No, I'm afraid not, that's the one group I didn't create," Lee said in a recent interview. While that seems like a solid excuse at first glance, Lee appeared in the first "Captain America" film, and that featured a character created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
For decades, Lee's cameos have been a consistently humorous Easter egg for audiences to look for in Marvel-based movies, and it's a shame "Guardians" won't have one. And when we start considering how far out the film looks -- it stars a talking raccoon and a tree with an attitude -- it's even more disappointing. Quite frankly, we can't help but wonder what a Stan Lee cameo in "Guardians of the Galaxy" could have looked like. And, hey -- maybe director James Gunn and Lee will like what we come up with and schedule some last-minute camera time!
Prisoner Stan Lee
From descriptions of the footage shown at 2013's Comic-Con International, we know that at least part of the movie takes place in an expansive, intergalactic prison. That's fitting, considering the film's heroes usually find themselves on the other side of space law. Just imagine a camera shot panning past a number of rough and ready aliens, all grimacing at the audience, with old man Stan snuck in between two of the gnarliest looking offenders. For maximum lifer effect, Lee should be sporting a full-on wizard beard, indicating that he's been behind bars longer than most of the other prisoners have even been alive.
Stan the Destroyer
With the Guardians most likely coming together for the first time during the course of the movie, a few introductions are going to have to be made. Picture the hulking Drax the Destroyer's backstory, one told via a frenetically edited flashback sequence. And there, in a blink and miss it cameo, is a similarly green-skinned Stan Lee, bestowing Drax with his signature knives. We know nothing about this mysterious elder, except that he put those vicious weapons to use many times before they were placed in Drax's hands.
Nova Corps Boss Man Stan
People in the know have explained the relationship between John C. Reilly's Nova Corpsman and Glenn Close's Nova Corps Commander as being similar to that of Coulson and Nick Fury, which might mean that Close's character will have to answer to a shadowy, even more powerful, Nova Council. The film could go the clever route and place Stan Lee in shadowy silhouette, with only his trademark, bombastic voice giving him away. But then again, it would take a much sterner personality than sweet old Stan to believably boss Close around.
The one Guardian Lee did have a hand in creating is Groot, the tree that walks like a man! Therefore, it would be quite fitting to have Stan Lee squeeze in for a second to relieve Vin Diesel of his voice acting duties. Imagine the lumbering Groot taking heavy damage, injuring wherever it is a sentient tree's voice originates. Recuperating, fans would get to hear one "I am Groot!" voiced by Stan, before the character resumes uttering the sentence in Vin Diesel's signature gravelly growl.
If Stan were to pop up in the film without elaborate makeup, costuming or CGI, he'd have to find his way in as part of Peter "Star-Lord" Quill's backstory, as he's the only Earthling in the main cast. Sure, Stan's a little too old to play Pratt's father, but Lee could pop up in a flashback as Grandpa Quill, a relative who helps Quill's single mother raise the future leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. If there's one role Stan Lee's been destined to play in a Marvel Universe role, it's that of a kindly grandpa.