Warning: spoilers ahead for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Don't read any further if you haven't seen James Gunn's latest Marvel epic!
Although Marvel Studios appears to have a clear and coherent plan for how it intends to proceed with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the exact route to Infinity War is paved with small instances of improvisation and creative license. One such moment in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is Yondu's funeral, which apparently saw significant changes made to Chris Pratt's performance after the original version of the scene had been shot. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cinematographer Henry Braham recently opened up about the film's emotional ending and explained how it was changed for the final cut of the film, saying:
Henry Braham's recent comments to THR serve as a solid reminder of the amount of work that goes into making a cohesive film. There's a reason that they call it "movie magic," and the sheer amount of technical know-how required to insert a revised version of Star-Lord's eulogy from Yondu (and have us not notice) was nothing less than daunting. Although it's not as readily evident of a camera trick as making Kurt Russell a young man again, it's definitely no less impressive from a filmmaking standpoint.
Although it was more work than originally anticipated, the changes ultimately paid off. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's ending is nearly perfect, and its emotional core sets up some great adventures in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It looks like it pays to be flexible and willing to improvise after all.
This sounds like a running theme for James Gunn, as he was continuously willing to tinker and experiment with the more subtle moments of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to capture the best possible scene. Rather than slave himself to the original vision of the script, he's willing to work with people on the set and crowdsource ideas; if something better comes up during production, then they will consider it and potentially use it in the final cut of the movie. If the gag reel from the original Guardians of the Galaxy is anything to go by, it also appears that this is a mentality that Gunn has maintained throughout the duration of his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now it's just a question of where this technique will take him next.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently in theaters, and Marvel's band of cosmic misfits will make their next appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when they head to Earth for Avengers: Infinity War next year on May 4, 2018.