James Gunn Reveals Three Alternate 'Doctor Strange' Cameos He Shot With Stan Lee

James Gunn, Stan Lee, and Zoe Saldana (Photo: James Gunn/Facebook)

You may think the glue holding together the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man, or Samuel L. Jackson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. bigwig Nick Fury, or even Josh Brolin’s big bad purple Thanos, whose ongoing quest for the Infinity Stones will reach its apex beginning with next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. But you’d be wrong. Because what really tethers the ongoing Marvel big-screen franchise together is, of course, Stan Lee, comic-book giant and constant presence in the company’s cinematic efforts. Even at 94 years old, the mogul’s not slowing down — and, according to Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn, he even shot multiple versions of his cameo for last year’s Doctor Strange.

In a Facebook post (via Collider), Gunn revealed that, while he was hard at work on Vol. 2, he carved out some time to help Strange director Scott Derrickson by shooting a series of potential Stan Lee cameos for the rookie Marvel film starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Gunn posted this image and caption:

Doing my pal Scott Derrickson a solid and shooting Stan Lee's cameo for Doctor Strange at the same time I was shooting…

Posted by James Gunn on Tuesday, June 6, 2017

“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.

Happy Tuesday!”

As if that weren’t enough work for a man Lee’s age, the superhero legend has also (per Collider) reportedly already filmed some cameos for future use in the studio’s upcoming blockbusters — likely for Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. Whether he pops up in Infinity War is presently unknown, though we’ll bet we haven’t heard the last “Excelsior!” from the Marvel icon.

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