[Warning: SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy ahead.]
The post-credit scenes in Marvel movies have become something of an inevitability with increased focus hinting on future franchise prospects (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and speculative cross character story arcs encompassing the Marvel universe. Thusly, this has lead to increasingly more in-depth analysis from the hardcore fans and also the more casual movie goers with expectations growing as each phase passes, leaving us waiting in anticipation for the next phase of movies to be released.
So, it’s no wonder then that, due to James Gunn’s idiosyncratic sense of humour, he has left people with an overall feeling of ambiguity as to what the post-credit scene in Guardians of the Galaxy means in terms of future prospects in terms of a standalone film for a particular character or whether the whole scene was just a bit of fun.
The post-credit scene involves the Collector, sitting glumly amongst the wreckage of his collection; with Howard the Duck (voiced by Seth Green) being reproved for letting Cosmo clobber his face. Now if you are used to Gunn’s quirky and weird sense of humour having seen some of his previous films (Super, Slither and PG Porn), this could quite simply be a cheeky stab at post-credit scenes. Or, it could quite possibly hint at the possibility of seeing more of Howard the Duck in Guardians 2, or even in a standalone film. Who knows, Marvel are starting to introduce wacky and darker characters into their universe!
Here is what writer and director James Gunn had to say on the scene: “We had one plan for the first tag, and another for the second tag. Originally, we were going to put Baby Groot dancing at the very end of the movie. But we kept trying to think of different things. We had a bunch of stuff with Cosmo, and different ideas, and 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 Kevin Feige would go for it. But we told Kevin and Kevin couldn’t stop laughing. Every time he saw it, he was like, ‘We’re f**king crazy! We’re f**king crazy!’
“We decided to do it very late in the game, only a couple of months ago, and we had to design Howard that day. Then we gave him over to the visual effects company that did him. They did a good job very quickly – I think it was Sony.”
The original Howard the Duck (1986) film was directed by George Lucas and was critically mauled and bombed at the box office. However, it has gained a cult status of sorts among bad-movie loving enthusiasts and looking back it does ooze a slightly charming so-bad-it’s-good vibe for a Sunday afternoon viewing. So, whilst there is not any intention to create a standalone Howard the Duck film, there is still a chance that he could pop up in the Marvel universe in another cameo – or perhaps an even more substantial role. We will have to wait and see. Gunn’s has certainly not ruled that out. As Gunn has said, it is still early days.
“I’ll be honest with you, I was just talking about it with my assistant right now. 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?”
Howard the Duck fans can cling on to the hope of an extended cameo, or even a more substantiated role. And some of the more optimistic can still hold out on the possibility of a standalone movie, as wonders never cease as Kevin Feige stated to CBR: “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.”
Keep your eyes peeled folks.