Stan Lee Doctor Strange cameo

Lately, filmmaker James Gunn has been using his social media accounts to share behind-the-scenes photos from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with fans and to give us a fun look into some little pieces of trivia that didn’t make the cut in his movie. But now that fandom’s collective attention has shifted away from the Guardians sequel, Gunn has revealed another amusing glimpse into the inner workings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by explaining some alternate cameo options he shot involving Marvel legend Stan Lee for Doctor Strange.

First, refresh your memory with the Stan Lee Doctor Strange cameo that made the final cut:

That’s the Marvel maven reading Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, a philosophical book that’s thematically appropriate with the mind-altering world of Doctor Strange.

Keep in mind that even though Gunn didn’t direct Doctor Strange (that job went to The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister helmer Scott Derrickson), Gunn was the one tasked with shooting three cameos involving Lee last year for Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. (At the time, Gunn said someone else had shot a fourth cameo, which we assume will appear in Thor: Ragnarok later this year.)

Back then, Gunn said:

“If you’ve seen the Doctor Strange cameo, it was one of MANY versions I shot on the day, and Scott Derrickson chose the final one. If I’m writing for Stan, why give him one line when I can give him a thousand? I just kept throwing lines at him one after the other, until we were all doubled over with laughter. Someday, after you’ve seen the movie, maybe Marvel Studios will let me share some of those with you.”

That day has finally come. In a new Facebook post, Gunn explains some of those alternate lines:

Doing my pal Scott Derrickson a solid and shooting Stan Lee’s cameo for Doctor Strange at the same time I was shooting some stunt work with Zoe Saldana – I run between sets on one soundstage. Stan laughing at The Doors of Perception was what ended up in the film, but we shot other options, such as –

– Stan reading a book and leaning into the guy next to him, saying, “Do you know what excelsior means?”
– Stan throwing his head back and laughing as hard as he can, yelling, “I’m laughing for no reason! I’m totally crazy!”
– And, my favorite, Stan laughing hysterically at a Garfield book, hooting, “He HATES Mondays but he LOVES lasagna!” Supposedly that one was in the film for a while, but it ended up being too long for the scene.

While the Garfield one may have played a bit better than what ultimately made the final cut, I’d much rather have the film’s pacing move along at a brisk pace instead of coming to a complete stop to let Lee ham it up for a line. See where the real Doctor Strange cameo ranks on our list of Stan Lee’s cameo appearances in the entire MCU.

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