At San Diego Comic-Con 2017, it was announced that the Skrulls would be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain Marvel. Now we know that fans were almost treated to the MCU debut of the Skrulls years earlier in Guardians of the Galaxy.
In an interview, director James Gunn talked about being “incredibly stoked” about the introduction of the Skrulls in the upcoming film, Captain Marvel. Gunn claimed that he had wanted to use the Skrulls in the past but his plans had never worked out “for one reason or another.”
Some fans thought Gunn was referring to licensing issues between Marvel and 20th Century Fox, considering that the shape-shifting aliens first appeared in Fantastic Four #2. Since the movie rights to Marvel’s First Family are owned by Fox, it’s understandable why fans believed that the Skrulls wouldn’t be able to appear in the MCU, though in actuality, the Skrulls are co-owned by Fox and Marvel, with only certain Skrulls being unavailable for use.
In speaking with CinemaBlend, Gunn confirmed that the Skrulls not appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy was his decision:
No, [Marvel] never said no. [They] said yes! It’s something that we’ve talked a lot about dealing with. I almost put a Skrull in the Ravagers. But I’m really excited they’re coming about, and I think it’s going to be fun to see where they go from there, and what happens with the Skrulls in the future of the Marvel Universe. I’m a huge fan of the Skrulls.
The Ravagers would appear to be the perfect place to insert the Skrulls in Guardians of the Galaxy, especially since the Ravagers have been used to showcase many Marvel races, including the Achernonians, the Centaurians, the Krylorians, the Arcturans, and the Pluvians.
Though the Ravagers may seem like the ideal choice, James Gunn felt that putting a Skrull in the Ravagers would “complicate” the film in ways that the other races wouldn’t. Gunn says that there’s “an elegance in the simplicity” of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies that can easily become too complex if too many elements are included.
It’s true that adding a Skrull to the Ravagers isn’t as simple as adding a Centaurian like Yondu to the Ravagers. A Skrull is not just another alien, and would involve much more exposition. Gunn would have needed to put more focus on the Skrulls than the other aliens by explaining what they are and what they can do. The alien members of the Ravagers needed much less explaining, if any at all.
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