Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has denied the theory that the movie has a reference to Galactus, one of the most famous antagonists from Marvel Comics.
The 2014 film has several Easter eggs for other Marvel properties, particularly when they see the Collector (Benicio del Toro), an ancient being who wants to hold all of the rarest items in the universe. According to Gunn, however, there is one reference that no fan has ever noticed (at least to his knowledge), and many are naturally trying to find it.
Among the items that the Collector wants are the Infinity Stones. He explains their origin: they existed as disembodied forces before the Big Bang, and then coalesced into their current form once our universe began. As he mentions the Power Stone, a bald, purplish figure can seen screaming.
Many fans connected this to Galactus, an amoral cosmic entity who devours planets and has threatened Earth numerous times. He was shown in a similar way when his own origin story was told in the comics, back in Adventures of the X-Men #12 (March 1997). Notably, Galactus is also described as being older than our universe (he is, in fact, the last living remnant of the previous one), so tying him to the Infinity Stones would make some sense.
Unfortunately for fans, Gunn shot this down on his Twitter account. “Getting lots of messages about Galactus in the Collector scenes. No, he’s not there in any way,” he said.
For what it’s worth, Gunn could not “officially” include the character anyway: he is considered a Fantastic Four antagonist, and the film rights for those characters are owned by 21st Century Fox, not Marvel Studios or its parent company, Disney. Still, “Lawyer Friendly Cameos” are not uncommon, and can sneak by as long as they are not too overt.
Of course, those legal restrictions could end soon, anyway: Disney is currently in the process of buying most of Fox’s properties, including the rights to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. Gunn obviously could not have known that in 2014, but it means that, whether he’s been set up already or not, the planet-eater could easily show up in a future film. Probably too late for the Guardians to meet him, but still, something for us fans to look forward to.