(Warning - the following contains very mild plot hints relating to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as well as — potentially sobbing-inducing — discussion of the tragic death of musical legend David Bowie. Proceed with whatever caution that suggests to you is wise.)
As far as hammer blows to the cultural brain stem go, the death of David Bowie on January 10 was particularly brutal. One of the very few true icons of popular culture, Bowie's lengthy career had inspired countless millions of us to not only be ourselves, but to be the very best version of the weird, unique individual that is us that we could possibly be. If you need reminding, check out this video of him as Ziggy Stardust.
The tributes to the great man came from all corners of the globe, and from pretty much every discipline you could imagine — but one of the most touching was surely the eulogy posted to Facebook by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.
It's well worth reading in its entirety — Gunn is, unsurprisingly, a talented and often touching writer — but for fans of both David Bowie and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's one particular detail that's worth highlighting:
David Bowie Was Almost in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'
Or, rather, James Gunn had approached the great man to see whether he would be available to cameo, and had heard back that it was a distinct possibility. As Gunn put it:
Just a very short while ago Kevin Feige and I were talking about a cameo role in Guardians Vol. 2, and he brought up Bowie's name. I told him nothing in the world would make me happier, but I heard from common friends he wasn't doing well. We heard back that he was okay and it could potentially happen.
Now, as it turned out, that response from Bowie's camp was likely part of a conscious decision to not alert the world to his terminal cancer, meaning the chances of Bowie actually appearing in Guardians Vol. 2 were likely never great, but that doesn't make it any more sad that the world missed out on seeing Ziggy Stardust in the MCU.
Thankfully, Gunn still has plans to bestow upon Bowie a very particular honor — a place on the soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, making him the only artist to appear on both movies' soundtracks:
"We featured 'Moonage Daydream' in Guardians, but I always thought the album's character was felt far beyond that, in the aesthetics, in the integral and seemingly-natural linking in popular culture of '70s rock and space opera. I've been trying to work another song from Ziggy into the sequel, which would make Bowie the only artist to have a song on both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. I thought this was fair and appropriate. Although I cut the scene it was used in from the script, we have the rights. Who knows. Maybe I can figure a way out."
There'll be a whole lot of tributes to Bowie in the coming months and years, and you get the feeling that the man himself would have been distinctly uncomfortable with some of the attention were he still here to see it — but directly inspiring a movie beloved by millions?
That, the Starman would surely have loved...
What do you think, though?