Director James Gunn is obviously a big Howard the Duck fan. He brought the character into the MCU in Guardians of the Galaxy, had him pop up again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Howard even made a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in the final battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. But while Gunn might be a big fan of Howard, does he like the 1986 movie Howard the Duck?
If you haven’t experienced this cinematic monstrosity, I envy you. It’s a baffling live-action comedy with an extremely off-putting take on the lead character, not helped by his creepy expressionless face and robotic bill. Even worse (though in keeping with his duck nature), he’s worryingly horny and there’s even a hint of a woman/duck sex scene (poor, poor Lea Thompson).
Anyways, here’s Gunn’s verdict:
“It’s not a good movie. Obviously I love his (MCU) cameos as I’m responsible for most of them).”
Howard the Duck is impossible to defend except as an example of how Hollywood can go very wrong (and to be amused that George Lucas had a big hand in making this happen). But it rightly deserves its place on the “worst movies of all time” list.
Gunn’s love of him comes from the classic Marvel comics he starred in, which were quite different from anything else on shelves at the time. In an interview when he was asked about the cameos, he said:
“I’m a huge Howard the Duck fan. For people who don’t know, I’m a huge Marvel Comics fan, butHoward the Duck was maybe my favorite character as a kid. I went back and I collected all of those comics. I had every comic he was ever in.”
So, with Howard now in the MCU, could we one day see a full-on Howard the Duck MCU movie? It’d be nice to finally do the character right, but the 1986 film casts a very long shadow. But hey, lessons learned and all that. Who knows, when Galactus turns up to wreak havoc, maybe it’ll be a certain duck that’s crucial to saving the day? And hey, he might yet pop up in the DCEU, too.