Many have speculated on what exactly Nathan Fillion’s cameo was going to be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as the director is famous for including some of his best friends in some form or another. When the behind-the-scenes leaked showcasing various posters starring Fillion as Marvel character Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man, people were curious to see how this would play into the future of Marvel Studios’ Films and if we will see Nathan Fillion actually make an appearance on screen, or if it would end up just being a one-off wink for fans. Well in a post on Instagram, director James Gunn revealed his intentions behind this idea, which sadly ended up being left on the cutting room floor.
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As many of you know one of my best friends in the world is @natefillion . Along with Michael Rooker and Gregg Henry he's been in every movie I've directed – even as a monstrous, perverted voice in Guardians of the Galaxy. I didn't have a good cameo for him in Vol. 2 – and I wanted to bring him more fully into the MCU at some point, so I didn't want to make him Aakon Guard #2, narrowing his chance of a more substantial role in the future. I really do love the character of Simon Williams/Wonder Man in the comics – a sometimes douchey actor/superhero – and could see Nathan clearly in that role (not because he's a douchebag but because he's great at playing one). But, of course, in a movie set 99.9% in space I didn't really have a place for him. So in a small flash to earth I decided to put a theater playing a "Simon Williams Film Festival," with six Simon Williams movie posters outside. Obviously, from the posters, he's had a run of B movies. Most of them in themselves are Easter eggs of some sort or another. Unfortunately, the small section of the scene where they appeared slowed down the movie and I had to cut the Easter eggs from the film (along with storefronts named after comic book luminaries Starlin, Mantlos, Annett and others). Equally a bummer was that a lot of people took photos of these posters on the day so suddenly every fan site was reporting that Nathan was playing Wonder Man in he movie. He was even the third-billed actor on IMDB! So that's the full story. Nathan's only cameo in the movie ever were these posters. I'll post them all over the next few days. And, yes, I think we can consider them canon for the MCU, and I hold onto hope that Simon Williams will rise again!! #guardiansofthegalaxyvol2 #gotgvol2 #GotGPicoftheDay #nathanfillion
Back in March, we also had a theory and ideas on where we could see Wonder Man make his official MCU debut, as he would be a great character for a more serialised format. Hopefully we could see Marvel Studios have interest in this idea, as not only would Wonder Man offer plenty of opportunities for an interesting film or TV project, but Marvel could use this to make some meta jokes on their own franchise.
Throughout the MCU, references have been made to actors that actually made appearances in Marvel films, such as a while back in season one, when Daisy, at the time still known as Skye, references The Big Lebowski on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Actor Jeff Bridges, who played the Dude in that mentioned film, was the main antagonist of the very first film in the MCU. They could use this opportunity to crack jokes at the amount of doubles that exist within the universe, which even fixes the appearances of film actors taking on different roles on TV, such as Alfre Woodard appearing in Luke Cage and Captain America: Civil War, but not reprising the same role.
Another opportunity is for Marvel Studios to make a very distinct film that screams Hollywood. Imagine seeing Fillion portray very obscure comic characters in various films, which leads to a plethora of easter eggs, but also highlight Marvel Studios’ “every film follows a different genre” approach to superhero films. One of the posters that was cut from Guardians 2 highlights this potential, as it featured Fillion in a Conan the Barbarian copy titled Arkon. This is not a randomly chosen name, as the character in the comcis was known as Arkon the Maginificent and debuted in Avengers #75 back in 1970.
There is a lot of potential to this concept and hopefully it will find its way into the Phase 4 slate, which could take a much different approach to building up their collective universe. Smaller films slated between the big blockbusters could offer a nice change of pace, so that they do not lose their audience through excessive film productions. It would also allow for the studio to get more creative with their films and easter eggs.
How do you feel about Fillion being cut from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2? Would you watch a Wonder Man film? Let us know, in the comments!