After three decades of potshots and putdowns stemming from the much-maligned 1986 film, Howard the Duck made a big comeback following his cameo during the end credits of Marvel’s 2015 megahit Guardians of the Galaxy.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 weeks from opening, the subject of Sir Duck from Duckworld came up with director James Gunn (who wrote and produced the new thriller The Belko Experiment) during a Facebook Live interview with Yahoo Movies, and the filmmaker hilariously echoed the sentiments of comic book fans worldwide: He really loves Howard the Duck the character, and really detests that movie Howard the Duck.
“I’m a huge Howard the Duck fan,” Gunn said of the character first introduced by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik in Marvel Comics’ 1973 Adventure Into Fear No. 19. “For people who don’t know, I’m a huge Marvel Comics fan. But Howard the Duck was maybe my favorite character as a kid. I loved the Steve Gerber Howard the Duck. I went back and I collected all of those comics, I had every comic he was ever in.”
And then came the George Lucas-produced live-action bomb that starred Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, and that awkward animatronic alien duck. “I was young and I went so excited about it,” Gunn said. The future filmmaker knew from first sight of Howard that all was not well in Duckworld. “I wasn’t hip with the Caucasian eyelids. That upset me. Because they had the puppet, and it was a duck, and instead of having feathery or white eyelids, he had Caucasian eyelids and it was creepy.”
Asked by this writer if he thought the movie generally catches an unfairly harsh reputation, Gunn retorted, “No, that movie sucks!” he said. “That movie’s terrible!”
Even after I told him I fell in love with the film at the tender age of 7, Gunn pulled no punches. “Well, you were a dumb little kid,” he laughed. “Idiot.”
Watch James Gunn explain how he dreamt the idea for ‘The Belko Experiment’:
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