Without James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy would not be what it is. He took the script and rewrote it. THEN he trusted Chris Pratt enough to make him the lead. His star is skyrocketing right now and I can honestly say he deserves it. When I was out in LA for the #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent he gave us bloggers a bit of his time chatting about his inspirations etc and you would just get excited to hear him being so pumped about the movie. Below is a few excepts from our interview:
James: [LAUGHS] I didn’t know it was gonna be so many people. So many Iphones. You guys have been tweeting me and I love it, I love it.
Q: Do you have a love for dance?
JAMES: Yeah, I do. When I say Kevin Bacon is a great national hero, I mean it. I love dancing, and I love pop music. I love super heroes and I love space adventures…..and I love raccoons. So I have all the things I love in one movie. You know.
Q: Does Kevin Bacon know about this?
James: He knows that I love him. Kevin was in my last movie. He doesn’t know it, so we’ve got to keep it quiet. Maybe I’ll text him after I get out of here. But I’m excited, for him to see it.
Q: You’re a director, producer, and you’re an actor. Is there anything that you don’t do?
James: Well, filmmaking wise, I could never be a DP. I’m just not able to do it. Yeah, there’s a lot of things I could never do. You know. I think really what I do best is picking other people and, and finding what other people are good at, and sort of arranging those in a way that makes a good movie. I think that’s really what a good director is able to do. I have a basic knowledge of most parts of filmmaking. So that I can have a conversation with those people, just sort of bring a film to the desired place.
Q: What drew you to GUARDIANS?
James: I think the main thing that drew me to GUARDIANS was the ability to create a whole new wing of the Marvel universe. I would find a very difficult time, say making a, a sequel to another Marvel movie. Or even making another earthbound Marvel movie that’s leading directly into The Avengers, because you’re working so much within the world that’s already been created. With GUARDIANS, I was able to create, not just a new world, but new worlds.
New characters, new species. And I found that to be just the most freeing thing ever. When I was a little boy, I had a box. And this box, I was sort of obsessed with. I was obsessed with the solar system and all the different planets. I would make drawings for each one of the different planets, of the species that lived on that planet. What their pets were. And what their houses looked like, what their water systems were like. This box became filled over time with this sort of universe inside of it, that I created. That’s where my heart was and that’s still where my heart is. Because that’s what this movie is.
Q: Who’s your favorite Guardian and why.
James: The one I feel the most connected to is Rocket. I feel, the outcast in Rocket. Although I think that Rocket is the meanest Guardian, I think he’s the most selfish Guardian. I think he’s probably the Guardian that learns the least at the end of the movie. He is the saddest. Very strange I connected ’cause I started to get emotional.
[“OHHHH” FROM WOMEN IN AUDIENCE]
But I feel, I feel like he’s like this little mangled guy that is completely alone in this world. There’s nothing else like him, he’s been torn apart and put back together again. He was originally an innocent little animal, I love animals to begin with. I’ve come to love him. I think probably also because, I had the greatest time in creating Rocket over any of the other Guardians. Rocket and Groot both. Unlike you know, Star-Lord, Chris and I have to be on the same level. See that we see things in the same way. I write his dialogue, he says it. I pull this stuff out of him, he adds stuff. We’re creating a character together, with Rocket, and there’s a lot more people involved. It’s much more like conducting a symphony, within one character. To, to make somebody alive, it tends to become more of a real character to me.
Q: How long did it take from beginning to end, for you? Also, what was the most complicated process in making the film?
James: I would say that, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was exactly two years from today, when it started. I came in in July of 2012, to meet with those guys. I was pretty much started working on it right after that. In terms of storyboarding and writing the screenplay and that. Moved to England in February. Finished the movie, I went to Singapore a week ago Monday. I finished the visual effects right before I got on a plane. I went from Disney to the airport. I came back here and I finished the 3D just a few days ago. the most,
The most difficult, letting go has not been the easiest part of it. Your brain gets used to doing one thing for two years. This has been my life. I was talking about Rocket earlier. Like the weirdest things started happening over the first few days before I had to leave for Singapore, was like, I don’t want to leave those characters behind. I’m going to miss that. It makes me especially, uh, lonely person. Those [characters have become my friends over the past two years. So I don’t think it was the most difficult, but that’s been very difficult. I think the most difficult part is simply the length of time, the fact that it’s a marathon. And the lack of sleep that has occurred during, you know, the off and on during those two years.
Q: With the Marvel cinematic universe expanding exponentially, Any there any couple characters you’d like to see together in a story? Or in a movie?
James: I would love to tell the Rocket and Groot story for sure. Yeah, I love them. I’d love to tell the Drax movie, you know. I’d love to do the Gamora film. I think they’re all interesting enough to me. I want to do the Nebula film. It’s something I actually think about a lot. I think that all those characters, I have a deep enough connection to that, they could go off on their own direction.
Q: In the Guardians comics there is a lot of interplay with the Avengers. Was there any interconnection or conversations that you had with Joss Wheedon, on what he has done or is doing, with the Avengers?
James: Yes, for sure. I would talk to Joss, ’cause I didn’t want to do anything that was gonna contradict future plans. Really the one piece of connective tissue is Thanos, he’s the guy who’s at the end of The Avengers. He’s the guy who’s the character in our movie, and he will likely show up in future Marvel movies. So that was something that all along, I would have conversations with Joss about all the, the Thanos aspects of things. Even down to the casting, I would talk to Joss.
Q: With Rocket it was really interesting to hear that character. So how was it working with Bradley Cooper doing a voice-over for that?
James: Intensely. I think Bradley had the hardest job of anyone on this movie. I had such a specific idea of who Rocket was. By the time we recorded him, we had already shot the whole movie. My brother played Rocket on the set. He was an integral part of the team on set. You talk to the other actors, he — Sean is what creates the dynamic between those those five characters on set. He’s a, a part of that. Bradley had a lot of expectations, or you know, hopes of mine that he had to fulfill. The first time he came in, the first day he recorded, was probably the most relieving day I’ve had on the entire film. I always knew the movie would work if Rocket worked. Thank god, Bradley is a pretty egoless guy. Which is strange for someone who is as handsome and talented as he is.
But he’s like, “Listen, if you have a line reading you want to give me, if you want me to say a line like your brother said it, just let me know.” I didn’t always take him up on that. But occasionally I would. Bradley did things a thousand times. We recorded whole scenes that, we did with his voice. We put him in the scene and I was like, I think we gotta go do it again. ‘Cause Bradley sounds like a little bit different than he did on the other day. Or, Bradley is a little too angry. He’s not angry enough. And then we’d go back and rerecord it. That’s one of the difficulties when you’re doing a voice actor, you can kind of keep doing it again and again and again and again. And I did.
According to BoxOfficeMojo: “Guardians of the Galaxy wound up having a ton of appeal with women: exit polling indicated that the audience was 44 percent female, which is the biggest share ever for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (the previous high was 40 percent for The Avengers). Meanwhile, the audience was 55 percent over the age of 25.”
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. In theaters NOW
***Disclosure: I attended #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney and myself. All opinions are 100% mine. Pictures by Disney***