When James Gunn started down the path of crafting what would eventually be Guardians of the Galaxy, the character of Yondu almost looked entirely different. The memorable bounty hunter would have looked more like its original comic incarnation, but at the same time it may not have had Michael Rooker playing the lovably threatening presence in the overall project. In the end, Gunn sided with the Rooker portion of the equation, but we've actually gotten a look at what might have been - thanks to the director himself. As you'll see below, Yondu was originally supposed to be severely ripped.
That image came courtesy of Gunn's Instagram feed, and judging by the original concept, this art is so early in the planning phases for Guardians of the Galaxy that it was just starting to deviate from the original comic variant of the character. As you'll notice, the concept still retains the original Yondu's impressive abs, lack of clothing / armor, and a bit of the fin that we're going to see return in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Another fun factor to consider, is that the fin / hair that the original concept of Yondu is sporting looks like a hairstyle out of the late David Bowie's repertoire.
Now while we're not saying that Bowie was considered for a role in the film, it is definitely a good time to note that James Gunn is a fan of the man's work through and through. Between using cues of his work in both films, as well as his offer of a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Gunn's fandom of all things David Bowie has always been common knowledge. If anything, this piece of art feels like yet another tip of the hat to the Thin White Duke himself. Though, again as you'll see with the original look of Yondu's comic origins below, the level of faithfulness in this interpretation is pretty strong.
Ultimately, the look of Yondu had to change, as the casting of Michael Rooker refocused the character into the sort of grizzled bad ass that we know and love seeing Rooker take on. If anything, this reinterpretation of the character is one of those changes we think would up being better than the source material Guardians of the Galaxy spawned from. Seeing as James Gunn and Michael Rooker like to work together, while creating some of the most memorable characters in the process, it's one of the decisions that's helped make Guardians of the Galaxy a film that's destined to become an eventual classic.
With that in mind, we eagerly await the fruits of their mutual labor when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rocks into theaters on May 5, 2017.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.