Marvel Studios has gotten to the point where they almost have a license to print money with the huge success of their first film, Iron Man in 2008, leading to a string of record-breaking blockbusters that has brought the world of Marvel Comics to a brand new audience.
Maybe that made it the right time for Marvel not just to go out on a limb but to follow that limb all the way into outer space, as they explored the cosmic realms of the Marvel Universe with one of comics’ odder superteams, Guardians of the Galaxy!
You’d have to have been sleeping under the rock monster from Thor: The Dark World (a.k.a the Stone Man from Saturn) to not know anything about the Guardians at this point. The current team–created the same year Marvel Studios released their first movie–consists of Peter Quill a.k.a the thieving Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), the assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the psychopathic Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot the living tree (his limited vocabulary voiced by Vin Diesel). Together, they have to keep an Orb that gives the bearer unstoppable power out of the hands of the likes of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and the biggest baddie of all, Thanos.
Bringing the Guardians onto the screen just wasn’t enough of a way to shake things up for Marvel, so they hired writer/director James Gunn, whose filmography ran the gamut from writing the “Scooby-Doo” movies to his early horror flick Slither and an edgy take on superheroics with 2010’s Super. There’s also that web series he did called “PG Porn,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Not exactly the type of filmmaker you’d expect to be helming a big budget space opera that could introduce new (and younger) audiences to the Guardians, which Marvel would hope to do as well as their movies starring better-known characters.
The fact is that Gunn has always been incredibly unique and creative with whatever he’s working on, and like Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro and James Wan, he really knows how to keep his fanbase excited through social media, something that brings so much more to the table than the usual studio movie marketing. (Like those other three, Gunn is also a true “mensch” in every respect of the word.)
And that’s why SuperHeroHype was thrilled to have another chance to talk with Gunn a few weeks back, specifically about Guardians, although we didn’t ask about the potential for a sequel, knowing how these things usually work and not realizing that Marvel Studios was ready to announce it even before the first movie was released.