James Gunn revealed that he got some valuable advice from Joss Whedon when he was writing Guardians of the Galaxy. The filmmakers are two of the most influential figures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the Avengers franchise far from slowing down off of Whedon’s spark and Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hitting theaters this weekend. Gunn is also already working on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, as the obscure comic-turned-megahit movie franchise continues to thrive on his vision.
As it turns out, one of Gunn’s original drafts of the Guardians of the Galaxy script didn’t have as much of his own imprint on it. The writer/director certainly has a knack for irreverent humor that came thrillingly to life in the finished product, but he revealed in a new interview that Whedon gave him some reliable advice in the process of making Guardians of the Galaxy a reality.
MovieMaker published a story on Wednesday containing pieces of advice for aspiring filmmakers, written by Gunn himself. He revealed a list of lessons for aspects of filmmaking ranging from colors and cinematography to budgets and test screenings. But the most striking piece of advice was the first on the list, “Put yourself into the film.” That’s where Gunn revealed how Whedon encouraged him to inject more of himself into Guardians of the Galaxy:
“When Joss Whedon read the first draft that I had written of Guardians of the Galaxy, he thought it wasn’t ‘James Gunn’ enough. I had actually been holding back. I was afraid that to make a huge commercial movie, I had to make it like other movies. Joss said, ‘I like the parts that are ‘James Gunn.’ Just make it more ‘James Gunn.’’ And that’s what I did. I was glad he gave me that vote of confidence.”
Guardians of the Galaxy fans are no doubt glad that Whedon gave Gunn that advice too. Whedon has left a major imprint on recent Marvel properties, from movies to comics, and his advice is certainly worth taking — especially for writing. The end result of Gunn’s script for Guardians of the Galaxy had his own imprint all over it, and the movie was all the more memorable for it.
The highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is already riding a huge international opening to what’s expected to be a massive first worldwide weekend at the box office. The sequel also garnered more strong reviews and is being lauded for its continued sharp sense of humor. Even if Vol. 2 doesn’t feel as fresh as the first Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn does not appear to have lost sight of Whedon’s advice. He’s still leaving his mark on one of Marvel Studios’ many successful franchises.