The release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 introduced a number of new characters to the MCU; aside from Ego the Living Planet and Mantis, James Gunn introduced many ancillary characters to the universe. With these new characters came new actors to play them, with many of them making cameo appearances. Miley Cyrus appeared as the voice of Mainframe in one of the post-credit sequences and James Gunn's good friend, Michael Rosenbaum also appeared as Martinex, for example. But there was one other superstar who was set for a cameo: David Bowie.
Yes, Ziggy Stardust himself was top of James Gunn's list of potential cameos for his second foray into the MCU. Sadly, #DavidBowie passed away in January 2016 after a battle with liver cancer, and we are left to wonder what might have been. Bowie's unique style would have been a perfect fit for the MCU and the Guardians of the Galaxy in particular but sadly, this will never come to pass.
Ziggy Stardust And The Spider (Man) From Mars
While we've already known that #JamesGunn wanted Bowie in the film, we never knew the extent of his role. That is until now — after a Facebook live video when Gunn was asked about Bowie's mysterious role:
"I did talk to Mr. Bowie's people about him being in a cameo. It would have been as one of the Ravagers along with Michelle Yeoh, Ving Rhames, Sylvester Stallone, and Michael Rosenbaum. Unfortunately, David Bowie passed away."
This was as much as he said on the subject, but if we take a look at the characters played by the actors he mentions, it allows for some speculation as to what Bowie's potential role might have been. Sylvester Stallone plays Stakar Ogord, better known as Starhawk in the comics, the leader of this particular Ravager team who have recently reunited. This is interesting because the rest of his team are the original #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy from the comics.
However, one of the original Guardians is notably absent from this scene, so it's reasonable to guess that the missing member would have been played by Bowie. This member is Vance Astro — Major Victory.
Vance Astro - Starman or Space Oddity?
Vance Astro was the youngest man to be accepted into the astronaut training program and later became a candidate for Project: Starjump - a deep-space exploration project. As the journey would take centuries, he was placed in a special bodysuit and his blood was infused with preservatives to prevent him from aging.
Along the way to the planet in the Alpha Centauri system, he had to be awakened from his suspended animation to perform routine course alterations. During these periods the crushing loneliness began to sink in and he gradually went mad. While enraged, he discovered he had psionic powers (turns out he was a mutant) and by the time he arrived on Centauri IV he'd learned to control his abilities.
After his arrival, he went on to battle an invasion from the Badoon alongside Yondu, a native to the planet. However, the two were quickly overpowered and were promptly captured. It was here that they met up with the last Jovian, Charlie-27 and the Plutonian, Martinex, finally forming the first incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Would David Bowie Have Played Vance Astro?
While Gunn didn't confirm the exact role Bowie would have played, it's possible that he could have been Vance Astro. When you consider that the Ravager team reunites at the end of the film for Yondu's funeral and Astro is the only member of the team missing, it does add up.
Looking a little more deeply, Astro's origin story does have a similarity with the lyrics of Bowie's "Space Oddity". The song's lyrics feature an astronaut reporting back to mission control and describing what he can see. There comes a point when the spaceman's communications are cut off, isolating him from Earth. However, just as Astro does, he continues his mission and reports back to Ground Control:
Can you "Here am I floating 'round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do"
This parallel would have been a great way to introduce Vance Astro to the #MCU, but sadly we won't have David Bowie as a part of it, whether it was in that role or another. But Bowie does get to feature in both Guardians of the Galaxy films thanks to the importance of #StarLord's music: "Moonage Daydream" is in the first movie and "Suffragette City" was used in a TV spot for Vol. 2.
James Gunn has alluded to the fact that he'd like to make a film featuring the original Guardians, so it's possible that Vance Astro could make an appearance, but perhaps not the appearance the director wanted.
Would you like to have seen David Bowie in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Are there any other roles you think he might have played? Let me know in the comments!