Filmmaker James Gunn in a Twitter Q&A session revealed that Disney and Marvel once made him cut a joke out of Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn was embroiled in a major controversy with Disney last year, when he was fired from the third Guardians film, only to be rehired months later, following fan backlash.
“If you receive a note from the studio you fundamentally disagree with what’s the best course of action to fight for your vision?” someone asked.
“I like to create a film making atmosphere where I listen to & consider every voice around me. So I truly consider the studio’s notes. I always try the notes out in the cut, no matter my initial distaste, to see if they actually might work. If I don’t like them, I take them out. Perhaps it’s because I’m lucky, or perhaps because of my openness & studio execs knowing they’re being rationally considered that, after making five films, I have never once been told by a studio I HAD to put something in or cut something out.” Gunn replied.
He continued, “On two occasions – once in Slither & once in Guardians Vol 1, I took out something (two shots in Slither, one line in Vol 1) that I really didn’t want to. But I did that as a way to compromise, because the studios had been so good at letting me ‘get my way.’”
When a fan asked him to reveal which line, Gunn replicated the exchange from the film, between Drax and Peter Quill. Quill says, “I come from a planet of outlaws, Billy the Kid, Bonnie & Clyde, John Stamos.” Drax replies, “Sounds like a place that I would like to visit,” and after a beat adds, “And kill many people there.”
Gunn has directed two Guardians of the Galaxy films, to massive box office success and critical acclaim. He will return as writer and director of the third film as well. But before that, he is finishing up DC’s The Suicide Squad.