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James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy was a fantastic movie (one of the best of the year, in fact). The diehard fans who stayed through to the very end for that final post-credits scene were undoubtedly hoping for some Avengers 2 stinger, and they didn't get it. What they saw instead was a CGI version of Howard the Duck sipping a cocktail next to Benicio Del Toro's The Collector. You could practically hear the WTFs resounding throughout the theater, and now there's a target for your blame.
We know it's difficult to find any fault with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as it changed the entire landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on top of it being a great political thriller. However, according to James Gunn, you can just add the underwhelming Guardians of the Galaxy post-credits scene to the long list of crimes perpetrated by The Winter Soldier.
Gunn hit up the Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith podcast for a discussion, during which time he made this itty bitty reveal:
I thought we were going to have an end credits sequence from like Avengers, ok. We never got it. Cap 2 stole it from us. But that’s fine. We didn’t really have any relationship to the Avengers anyway, so it makes sense that we didn’t get it.
While a scene pertaining to Avengers 2 or any of the other highly anticipated Phase Three films on the docket would've been much appreciated, a Howard the Duck cameo fits more with the overall spirit of Guardians. The movie, after all, transformed a foulmouthed raccoon and a verbally challenged ent into the spirit animals of Brooklyn hipsters. Why not add one talking creature, and one who's already got some clout?
So, how did Howard end up in the biggest superhero movie of the year? Gunn went on to further explain:
We were trying to cut footage together that we already had to create an ending. And I thought about having Cosmo talk or do something like that. And then Fred Raskin, our editor, said, ‘It’s kind of like Benicio looks over at this box for a minute. We could probably cut something into that.’ And that’s when we came up…and I honestly can’t remember if it was me or Fred…when we came up with putting Howard the Duck in the box.
If you recall, Howard the Duck hit the big screen in 1986 for his own movie in which he had to fend off an alien invasion of Earth. Though some fans thought his post-credits appearance was meant to herald the arrival of another movie of his down the road, no plans have been announced. However, he will reappear in a new comic book run from Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones.
"He’s an everyman who happens to be a duck!" Zdarsky told Entertainment Weekly of the comic, which drops this spring. "He’s angry, exasperated, and he’s had it up to here with the world around him, but he’s trapped here! Infinitely relatable!" Whether he gets his own Marvel movie down the line remains to be seen, but we'll track any progress.