'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Credits Stinger: How Did It Happen? Is It A Set-Up For A Stand-Alone Movie?

The end-credits stinger on Guardians of the Galaxy seems to have confused more people than not. How did director James Gunn come up with the idea? Why did Marvel head Kevin Feige approve it? And is it a set-up for a future stand-alone Marvel Studios film? Learn the answers to all these questions after the jump.

Warning: Spoilers for the Guardians of the Galaxy end credits stinger coming in....











Guardians Howard the Duck Post-Credits Stinger Details Revealed

Guardians Howard the Duck

The following is updated and expanded from our extensive Guardians of the Galaxy easter egg article, which you can read at that link. (It is, ahem, highly recommended.)

As you probably know by now, Howard the Duck might be seen sitting in a container hanging from the ceiling of The Collector's museum. But the end-credits stinger features a funny scene with the not-quite-forgotten Marvel character. Howard the Duck is an original Marvel Comics creation which was actually the first theatrical Marvel feature film — yes, the one produced by George Lucas in the 1980s! (See the screen grab above.) But the end-credits stinger allows us to see Howard the Duck up close and talking to the Collector in his destroyed lab, with Seth Green providing the duck's voice.

How did the Guardians Howard the Duck post-credits stinger come about? It began as a joke during the editing of the film. Director James Gunn reveals how it happened while talking to Empire Magazine:

"I think it was some combination of me and the editor Fred Raskin who said, 'Let's put Howard The Duck in there. What if The Collector looks over and sees Howard The Duck sitting there?' And I wrote down the line, 'Whaddya let it lick you like that for? Gross.' Fred and I thought it was hilarious, but we weren't sure that (Head of Marvel Studios) Kevin Feige would go for it. But we told Kevin and Kevin couldn't stop laughing, so that's how it came about."

Marvel recently made a bunch of the Howard the Duck comics available online. With this movie appearance and the return of the comics, could Marvel be setting up a Howard the Duck movie? Gunn dismisses it, but admits anything is possible:

"I'll be honest with you, I was just talking about it with my assistant right now," laughs Gunn. "It's possible Howard could reappear as more of a character in the Marvel Universe. But if people think that's going to lead to a Howard The Duck movie, that's probably not going to happen in the next four years. Who knows after that?"

Marvel head Kevin Feige has also talked briefly to CBR about the Howard the Duck cameo:

[Laughs] I think it would be fun to lay claim to Howard and to remind people that he's more than just a pseudonym for film failure. And that he is a Marvel character. That would be fun.

Howard The Duck could appear in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (more on that here), as the character (and Cosmo) are now free on Knowhere, the comic book base of operations for the group. Its also possible that Marvel will give the character a little more screen time in the Marvel One Shot for the Guardians of the Galaxy home video release.

Feige also commented on the famous Walt Disney Company lawsuit threat which forced Marvel to give Howard a different design and the use of pants so that he look different than Donald Duck:

And no legal wrangling over pants with Disney this time! No. I wasn't even aware of all that stuff until recently!

I guess things have changed now that the mouse owns Howard and all of Marvel.  Again, if you find any of this interesting, you'll probably want to read our extensive Guardians of the Galaxy easter egg listing.