Part of the fun of making a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy has to be coming up with the outlandish settings and bringing the strange and fantastic characters to life on screen. Though the comics provide a road map of sorts, we’re talking about two very different mediums, and things that work on the page may not necessarily work on the screen, and vice versa. This is basically an opportunity for the behind the scenes creative types to just go nuts, and by all accounts, they did. Now we’ve got a glimpse at some unused concept art, an alternate character design, and a look at a character that missed the final cut.
Warning, there may be minor SPOILERS for the five of you who haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet.
In the movie, Chris Pratt’s Peter Jason Quill, also known as Star-Lord, is something of a ladies man. Some may even go so far as to call him a womanizer, and that title certainly seems to fit the bill. There’s a scene in Guardians where he has obviously been enjoying some adult alone time with Bereet, that lovely pink Xandarian woman played by Melia Kreiling. Originally, however, things were going to play out differently. To drive home Quill’s bed jumping ways, after he and Bereet went their separate ways, he was supposed to start hitting on this character:
Director James Gunn posted this photo to his Instagram account. This is actress and model Samara Dixon, and Quill was going to be hitting on her when he first encounters Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) on Xandar. He was even going to take a brief break from the fracas that follows this “meeting” to flirt with her some more. But alas, she was cut from the final film.
One character that did make the final cut, however, is none other that Howard the Duck, a classic Marvel character who is primarily known to the wider public for one of the most panned, derided movies in recent memory (a movie I have weird, inexplicable affection for). As you may or may not know, he shows up in the second of the two post credits sequences in the film, and usually elicits out and out shock and awe, or baffled, who-the-hell-is-that looks. Either way, it’s a bizarre, fantastic choice for a bizarre, fantastic movie.
Here’s how he looks in the finished movie…
…and here’s how he could have looked, as originally envisioned by artist Ryan Meinerding, who worked on the film and shared this piece via his Facebook page. As you can tell, these two are pretty close, not like some other conceptions of the character that we’ve seen that look nothing like what appears on screen. Lucky for Meinerding, the digital craftsmen working on Howard loved what they saw and stuck close to the design. The character is obviously a bit more scuffed up in the movie, but he also just survived a massive attack by nefarious forces, so a little dust and soot is to be expected.
And speaking of Howard the Duck, the scene where he appears takes place at the Collector’s (Benicio Del Toro) digs on Knowhere after Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and his posse wreck up the joint. The Collector’s place is actually the first piece of Guardians of the Galaxy that we saw, popping up in the post credits scene of Thor: The Dark World. Taneleer Tivan, as he is also known, is one of the Elders of the Universe, a being of great power, and he has amassed a museum of creatures and life forms from throughout the universe (ostensibly to keep them safe from Thanos, so it will be interesting to see how he fits into the future plans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as we know Thanos will be the main big bad moving forward). In the comics this has taken many forms, and the conceptions of his place, as you can see from this collection of unused renderings by artist Richard Anderson, took just as many.