The late comic-book artist had featured in small roles in each of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, prompting fans to speculate that he was in fact the same person throughout – an extraterrestrial observer known as Uatu the Watcher.
On Twitter, Gunn, who is currently working on Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 3, had reacted to a theory devised by a seven-year-old fan that a pot which Baby Groot eats sweets from is the same pot in which he formerly grew.
Asked by the girl’s mother whether her child was right, Gunn said: “I like that theory, so let’s say yes. And you can tell your seven-year-old she invented it.”
One of Gunn’s followers responded to the confirmation, writing: “This is how all of canon should be done: ‘Hey, is that what happened?’ ‘I don’t know but it sounds cool so yes.’”
The director then replied: “Sometimes, sure. For instance, Stan Lee’s connection to the Watchers in Vol 2 was definitely inspired by fan theories.”
In the second Guardians film, Lee’s cameo took place in space, as he donned an astronaut’s suit and appeared next to The Watchers.
Lee’s character – Uatu, we presume – speaks about the time he was a “federal express man”. This is a nod to his brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War, when he played a delivery man.
Lee also made a posthumous appearance in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, as a digitally de-aged car driver in 1970. This was Lee’s final appearance in an MCU film.
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