James Gunn Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY; Says He Wants To Launch Spin-Off Franchises

James Gunn Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY; Says He Wants To Launch Spin-Off Franchises

Revealing that he's keen on helping Marvel develop other cosmic franchises within the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, James Gunn talks about the film's uniqueness, lead actor and more. Check it out!

A week after concluding filming for Guardians of the Galaxy, helmer James Gunn spoke with Fandango about getting up to speed for the Marvel adaptation among many other aspects. Notably revealing his interest in helping Marvel to launch spin-off cosmic franchises within his own, the director reassures that Guardians will be its own thing.

In light of the interstellar superhero team being a lesser-known Marvel property, Gunn laughingly admits, “Oh, I had to do research because I'm very stupid. I don't have a very good memory. I had read, I think, most of the Guardians books,” says Gunn. “I was more up to speed on the [comics writers Dan] Abnett [and Andy] Lanning stuff. I had to go back and remind myself. I read a lot of the '90s stuff when it was out, but I had forgotten it by the time this came along.”

Despite the many times Guardians has been compared to the Star Wars movies, James Gunn admits he knew all along that he would bring something fresh and unique to Marvel. “At the risk of sounding pompous, because it's going to be filtered through me, it's going to be its own thing no matter what,” says the director. “But I think it was a chance to do something that really could make people feel like I felt when I was a young kid and saw these big spectacular space epics and give them something of that. And that was an exciting thing to be able to do.”

As the director hopes much of Guardians of the Galaxy's uniqueness will flow from its bizarrely assembled cast, Gunn says a key to that approach was casting Chris Pratt.
“I was not willing to settle for second best,” says James. “We auditioned many, many actors, and a lot of big actors who came in and tried to get the role of Peter Quill, and we tested over two dozen people. And none of them were right. It just didn't feel right in my gut, and I always follow my gut. And Chris came in. He was pretty heavy at the time, and he read. But within about 30 seconds of him reading, I looked back at the casting director and I was like, ‘What the--? This is the greatest thing ever!’ I mean, I knew he was it.”

James Gunn further proclaimed his strong desire to launch more cosmic stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe within the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. “I want to lay down the rules, I want to start it – I would love to be able to see it grow into other things,” he says. “I love talking about all the other filmmakers, sitting around with the producer pitching ideas for other filmmakers to take on future Marvel projects. It's a great thing to be a part of. And I don't think it's for everybody, but the truth is for me being able to sort of create this movie is a dream come true and just been a great experience.”

“Guardians of the Galaxy,” the next epic adventure from Marvel Studios has started shooting at the UK’s Shepperton Studios. Directed by James Gunn (“Slither,” “Super”) from his screenplay, with a story by Nicole Perlman and Gunn, the film will introduce audiences to a whole new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The all-star cast includes Chris Pratt (“Zero Dark Thirty”, “Moneyball”) as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana (“Star Trek Into Darkness”, “Avatar”) as Gamora, Dave Bautista (“Riddick”) as Drax the Destroyer, Lee Pace (“The Hobbit,” “Lincoln”) as Ronan the Accuser, Michael Rooker (AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) as Yondu, Karen Gillan (BBC TV’s “Doctor Who”) as Nebula, two-time Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Amistad”, “Gladiator”) as Korath, with Academy Award® winner Benicio del Toro (“Traffic”) as The Collector, Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly (“Chicago”) as Rhomann Dey, and six-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs,” “Fatal Attraction”) as Nova Prime. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is slated for an August 1, 2014 release in the U.S. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. The executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine & Stan Lee; the co-producer is Nik Korda. The creative team includes director of photography Ben Davis, BSC (“Wrath of the Titans”, “Kick-Ass”), production designer Charles Wood (“Thor: The Dark World”), BAFTA-nominated Editor Fred Raskin (“Django Unchained,” “Fast Five”) and Academy Award-winning editor Hughes Winborne, A.C.E. (“The Help,” “Crash”), and Academy Award winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Elizabeth The Golden Age”). The film will also shoot at Longcross Studios, and locations in and around London.
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