After some details began to hit the internet about it yesterday, James Gunn has revealed a photo of Stan Lee’s original Guardians of the Galaxy cameo via instagram.
In the post he goes into detail about the scene and why it was changed to the cameo that’s in the final movie.
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
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.
When the news of the scene first hit the internet yesterday, snarky film blogs blamed Disney for cutting the scene but Gunn says that isn’t the case:
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.
And yes, that is a double for Stan Lee in the photo. They were going to digitally replace the head with Stan’s if the scene was kept.