'Guardians Of The Galaxy': Here's The Drax Joke Disney Asked James Gunn To Cut

Disney has a reputation for being strict with its family-friendly image, but the company has given more free rein to the studios under its banner than you might assume. While Marvel Studios films often have to abide by a certain formula (and unfortunately, a certain aesthetic), a few filmmakers have been allowed relative creative freedom. One of those directors is James Gunn, whose Guardian of the Galaxy films all bear his distinct directorial signature. But even Gunn has to abide by Disney standards, with the company asking him to cut one comedic moment from the first Guardians of the Galaxy.

During a recent Q&A session on Twitter in which the director was asked how he would deal with a note from a studio that he disagrees with, Gunn revealed that he's only received two such notes: once in Slither and once in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1.

Gunn elaborated that Disney made him cut one joke from Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring Dave Bautista's Drax and Chris Pratt's Peter Quill. In the scene in question, the two discuss Quill's home world, which Quill calls "a planet of outlaws" of people like "Billy the Kid" and "John Stamos." Drax replies in his signature straightforward manner that he'd like to visit the planet someday and "kill many people there."

It's not too edgy of a joke considering Gunn's filmography, but joking about mass murder may have been too much for Disney's standards. Still, Gunn didn't seem too upset over the cut joke, saying earlier in his tweet thread,"Perhaps it's because I'm lucky, or perhaps because of my openness & studio execs knowing they're being rationally considered that, after making five films, I have never once been told by a studio I HAD to put something in or cut something out."

For the moment in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, he saw cutting the joke as "a way to compromise, because the studios had been so good at letting me 'get my way.'"

Gunn's clear directorial vision is what made him so beloved by the Guardians of the Galaxy cast and crew, who banded together to request that Disney bring the filmmaker back after the House of Mouse briefly fired him over resurfaced controversial tweets. Gunn will return to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which does not yet have a release date. Currently, the filmmaker is in post-production on The Suicide Squad, which is currently scheduled for a August 6, 2021 release, and he'll likely dive straight into Vol. 3 following that film.