Nathan Fillion's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 appearance as Simon Williams didn't make the final cut of the movie, but director James Gunn has shared a glimpse of what we missed — and, in the process, revealed a little about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe views the man behind the Iron (Man) mask.
Writing on Facebook, Gunn shared his plan for Fillion's MCU alter ego. "As many of you know one of my best friends in the world is Nathan Fillion," he wrote. "Along with Michael Rooker and Gregg Henry he's been in every movie I've directed — even as a monstrous, perverted voice in Guardians of the Galaxy. I didn't have a good cameo for him in Vol. 2 — and I wanted to bring him more fully into the MCU at some point, so I didn't want to make him Aakon Guard #2, narrowing his chance of a more substantial role in the future. I really do love the character of Simon Williams/Wonder Man in the comics — a sometimes douchey actor/superhero — and could see Nathan clearly in that role (not because he's a douchebag but because he's great at playing one). But, of course, in a movie set 99.9% in space I didn't really have a place for him."
He continued, "So in a small flash to [E]arth I decided to put a theater playing a 'Simon Williams Film Festival,' with six Simon Williams movie posters outside. Obviously, from the posters, he's had a run of B movies. Most of them in themselves are Easter eggs of some sort or another. Unfortunately, the small section of the scene where they appeared slowed down the movie and I had to cut the Easter eggs from the film (along with storefronts named after comic book luminaries Starlin, Mantlos, Annett and others). Equally a bummer was that a lot of people took photos of these posters on the day so suddenly every fan site was reporting that Nathan was playing Wonder Man in the movie. He was even the third-billed actor on IMDB! So that's the full story. Nathan's only cameo in the movie ever were these posters. I'll post them all over the next few days."
The post was accompanied by the first of the posters, showing Williams in the title role of Tony Stark, a biopic that looks amusingly close to the Michael Fassbender-starring Steve Jobs movie from 2015. Does that mean that Stark Enterprises makes phones, computers and tablets for the common man in the MCU?
Gunn added that the posters "can [be considered] canon for the MCU, and I hold on to hope that Simon Williams will rise again!" So … other Marvel moviemakers, consider this a challenge for future movies. Can Fillion cameos rival Stan Lee's?