The Joke Disney Made James Gunn Remove From Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 1

It's hard to believe, but Guardians of the Galaxy first released into theaters on August 1, 2014. Guardians, as a film, is so influential for the Marvel Cinematic Universe that it's strange to think that the cosmic side of the MCU (aside from brief glimpses in the Thor and Avengers movies) was non-existent before then.

The tone of the MCU shifted a lot with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, too. Yes, there was already comedy, but the goofy, almost Troma-esque brand of humor? That was new and specific to Guardians. Writer-director James Gunn got his start as a filmmaker with Troma, the studio that made The Toxic Avenger famous. Gunn scripted the Lloyd Kaufman-directed Tromeo and Juliet way back in 1996, and the influence of that low-budget irreverence has been a part of Gunn's work ever since.

As you might imagine, not every joke Gunn (or any screenwriter) writes makes it to the screen — and Guardians of the Galaxy is no exception. Recently, Gunn revealed a deleted bit of dialogue he loves so much he wishes he could put it back in the movie.

On June 29, 2020, Gunn took to Twitter to answer burning questions from fans. Twitter user @MrJoshuaGray, asked, "If you receive a note from the studio you fundamentally disagree with what's the best course of action to fight for your vision yet entertain the thought of a compromise?" The answer brought us a lost bit of comedic Guardians gold.

Starlord and Drax talk about Earth's mightiest outlaws

In response to the query, Gunn wrote, "I like to create a filmmaking atmosphere where I listen to & consider every voice around me. So I truly consider the studio's notes. I always try the notes out in the cut, no matter my initial distaste, to see if they actually might work. If I don't like them, I take them out."

That doesn't mean Gunn never cut a scene he wishes made it to the final cut. In the same thread, he referred to two examples: Slither and Guardians of the Galaxy. "On two occasions," wrote Gunn, "once in Slither & once in Guardians Vol 1, I took out something (two shots in Slither, one line in Vol 1) that I really didn't want to. But I did that as a way to compromise, because the studios had been so good at letting me 'get my way.'"

Naturally, people wanted to know what line was cut from Guardians, and Gunn didn't disappoint. Here's the exchange in question between Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista):

"(in movie) Quill: I come from a planet of outlaws, Billy the Kid, Bonnie & Clyde, John Stamos.

Drax: Sounds like a place that I would like to visit.

Quill: Cool.

(cut) Drax: And kill many people there."

There you have it — this particular instance of Drax's bloodlust didn't make the cut. It's not surprising that a line like that might not be to Disney's tastes, but you never know — perhaps someday James Gunn will find a way to George Lucas that line back in for a Guardians of the Galaxy special edition.