James Gunn Happily Confirms ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Gig

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 15th, 2013 at 1:15 pm,

Marvel Studios has directors lined up for their next six films and all of them are first-timers to the franchise outside of Joss Whedon who himself will be back for The Avengers 2. Shane Black is currently on the final stretch of shooting Iron Man 3 while Alan Taylor just began principal photography on Thor: The Dark World.

After that, Anthony & Joe Russo are preparing for a March 2013 start to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Edgar Wright may finally sit in the director’s chair to make Ant-Man a reality and sometime next year, James Gunn will begin production on Guardians of the Galaxy. The latter we’ve known for quite some time but Gunn couldn’t confirm until today.

The news first broke a month ago that Marvel Studios was interested in James Gunn helming Guardians of the Galaxy and as recently as last week, Joss Whedon was quoted as praising his “twisted” take on the comic property. Even Gunn’s friend Nathan Fillion spoke about Gunn’s excitement for the opportunity but neither the studio or the director of Super and Slither himself have officially confirmed it until today. On his Facebook page moments ago, Gunn posted the following statement as a thank you to supporters for all the encouragement based on the leaked news alone.

For a month or so there’s been a lot of Internet speculation about my involvement with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Until now I haven’t said anything, because I’m trying to be less expulsive about this project than I am about the rest of my life. But last night I got the go-ahead from Kevin Feige to let you all know that, yes, indeed, I am rewriting and directing Guardians of the Galaxy. As a lifelong lover of Marvel comics, space epics, AND raccoons, this is the movie I’ve been waiting to make since I was nine years old. Kevin, Joss, and all the folks at Marvel have been amazing collaborators so far, and we’re committed to bringing you something majestic, beautiful, and unique. I am incredibly excited. I am also incredibly grateful to the fans and the press for all their words of encouragement and support regarding my involvement with this project since the news first leaked. Thanks – you have, honestly, touched and overwhelmed me. And that’s it for now. Other than the occasional photos of my dog and cat here on Facebook, I’ll talk to you again in August 2014 when Guardians is released!

The self-proclaimed lover of raccoons confirms our speculation that much like Whedon rewrote Zak Penn’s script for The Avengers, Gunn will be doing the same for Guardians. He’ll be rewriting (co-writing?) the screenplay by Chris McCoy who Marvel Studios signed a month ago to rewrite the original draft by Nicole Perlman. McCoy is an industry newcomer who has yet to have a script produced but he had several of his spec scripts land on the Black List (Hollywood’s list of best unproduced scripts). We don’t yet know how far he got with his draft, if at all, now that Gunn is involved.

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Logo 570x384 James Gunn Happily Confirms Guardians of the Galaxy Gig

Marvel Cinematic Universe – Phase Two:

  • Iron Man 3 – Shane Black
  • Thor: The Dark World – Alan Taylor
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Anthony & Joe Russo
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – James Gunn
  • Ant-Man – Edgar Wright
  • The Avengers 2 – Joss Whedon

Be sure to check out the official Guardians of the Galaxy concept art released at Comic-Con and let the casting speculation begin!

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: James Gunn

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  1. Thats it… Today is officially MCU News Day!!!

    • No kidding, right?

      Ps. Another one coming…

      • Woo! Marvel day! :D

    • Information overload!
      It would have been insane if they also released a trailer or something today… insanely awesome that is.

  2. excellent. Im more confident than ever that rocket raccoon will be done to perfection and (if there is one) phyla-vell and cosmo will appear in the sequel

    • Oh yeah, I wonder how they will introduce “Knowhere” and the giant floating head. In the comic Nova finds it and runs into Cosmo there. Later, the Guardians make it their home base.

      • theyll probably just make knowhere a space station, unless marvel wants to go the extra mile and introduce the celestials

        • It sux, the celestials are F4 and those writes are still to Fox. Already Knowhere isn’t looking good. However from recent reports, it looks like the Chronicle guy is gonna have his hands tied. Hopefully the writes get revered back to Disney and we will have an entirely original Guardians movie with no boundaries.

          Example: Thanos using Galactus to destroy/harvest planets.

          • Not everything associated with the Fantastic Four are necessarily licensed out to Fox. More along the lines of the big highlights like Doom and Galactus. Plus certain elements may be available for use so long as it doesn’t impinge on where it intersects with the licensed property (for instance they could put the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in the Avengers movie but not reference them being mutants or children of Magneto).

            That said I’m betting that Knowwhere (if used) will be a starbase of unknown origin and that they won’t try to bring in the Celestials unless it is actually part of the plot. At best it may vaguely resemble what it looks like in the comics.

            • Then from what you said, it sounds like it is safe for them to use the Celestial head as their base of operations located at Knowhere.

              I hope they keep the lore behind Knowhere; being on that, what it is to our Universe. Knowhere is a very interesting point of interest. It would be a shame to not incorporate Knowhere. I remember when Nova said to Quill about how he knew of a perfect place where he can work his team out of. As soon as they revealed Knowhere, it couldn’t of been more perfect.

              For those who have read Guardians, they’d know, they protect more than one Galaxy. Most of the team they’re protecting the Kree Empire’s Galaxy. For them to jump around from one point to another, they would need the teleportation technology on which the Celestial’s head offers at Knowhere.

  3. Vin Diesel as Drax (Drax = Riddick with Green Skin)
    Rosario Dawson as Gamora
    Nathan Fillion as Star-Lord (let him be in one g****** marvel movie….jeez)
    Groot as Groot
    and Seth MacFarlane as Racoon haha
    …let it happen!

    • seth macfarlane as rocket raccoon?… no. no no no no no… no. the only “correct” choice is jason statham to give rocket the gruff british accent he needs. but since that likely wont happen just go with the guy they got for UMvC/Avengers EMH/marvel heroes

      • Seth mcfarlande could pull off a Statham esc voice he is a talented voice man

      • If Jason Statham agreed to do Rocket Raccoon voice, GotG will automatically be the most awaited Marvel phase 2 movies on my list. Would you, Mr. Statham?

    • I was thinking Diesel as Drax a few months back too. He’s definitely got the look.

    • I Want Linda Cardellini As Gamora,But I Still Lve Rosario Dawson

  4. I hope this will be good and not a cheesy with kung-fu panda and treebeard.

    • Don’t get these “Coon” fans started. I’m staying out of this one.

  5. Interesting. Marvel strikes again.

  6. I just watched Super the other day and really enjoyed it and gave me confidence in Gunn since I knew absolutely nothing about him before. I’m really curious about Chris McCoy’s script too though since he apparently also had the quirky sense of humor Marvel was looking for, according to his past screenplays. Though if Gunn is anything like Whedon he’ll probably just end up rewriting the entire thing.

  7. They should not make this film. It will cheapen the regular Avengers Universe. If they insisted on anything (which I wish they wouldn’t), I would say just make this a Saterday afternoon cartoon series, and send it where all bad storyline/bad art super-shows go.

    • give several reasons why this movie shouldnt be made. marvel has confidence in it. has marvel done you wrong yet (besides iron man 2)?

      • Every Punisher film

        • They didn’t even make those.

        • whats wrong with Thomas Janes Punisher? that was a great movie

      • They havnt done wrong but havnt done spectacular either. both Thor, cap im2 are split on how well audience liked it. And the hulk films. only the avengers and ironman are critically acclaimed

        • Obviously “The Avengers” & “Iron Man” are the most acclaimed of the 6 films made by Marvel Studios so far. Still that does’nt mean the other films have been weak which they are not in my opinion. The other films may not have scored as high with film critics and audiences, still “Captain America” 79%, “Thor” 77%, “Iron Man 2″ 74% & “The Incredible Hulk” 67% on Rotten Tomatoes are not too damn shabby and nothing to turn your nose up at.

    • Easy there Goldilocks.. There must be a cartoon movie somewhere you can post about..

  8. Didn’t enjoy super and thought slither was ok. not really an on my radar movie.

  9. Waite, is Ant-Man likely to appear in the Avengers 2?

    • its pretty much a guarantee. he was supposed to be in the first movie but wright convinced marvel that he needed his own movie first

  10. Well today turned out to be a Marvelous day.. :D

  11. why aren’t they doing another hulk movie?

    • they talked about it after how well received he was in avengers, but I wouldnt hold my breath for a sequel before avengers 2. probably after, if ever.

    • The first one didn’t make a lot of money.
      But, with the success of The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo’s brilliant performance, and the character’s evolution after The Avengers, I think they should seriously start talking about making another one.
      There’s definitely quite a few paths they can go down, I’m sure audiences will rush out to go see it.

      • Neither version of the Hulk movie did great numbers, and at this point they probably don’t want to risk a third movie doing even worse due to lagging interest in the character. Ruffalo’s performance and their use of the Hulk in the Avengers would make it seem like another Hulk movie could do well,and in a weird way I think the character’s drawing power was hurt more by the first solo movie in this version and the lingering notions people may have from the Ang Lee version.

  12. jason statham as rocket raccon and nathon fillion as star lord!!! pleeeeeeeeease!!

    this is going to be probably my favorite marvel movie!!

  13. Here’s my current (slightly modified) dream cast for GOTG:

    Star Lord – Nathan Fillion
    Rocket Racoon (voice) – Tracy Morgan
    Groot (voice) – Tom Waits
    Drax the Destroyer – Vin Diesel
    Gamora – Gina Carano

    * Why a British accent for Rocket Raccoon? There are no raccoons in the UK. Raccoons are native to North America. I like Tracy Morgan for it……

    • Rocket Raccoon is a homage to the beetles song Rocky Raccoon, which is why when they cast him in UMvC (same guy theat voiced him in Avengers EMH and will in Marvel Heores) they gave him a gruff british accent and it worked really well.

    • also, why is it that, when they dont know about the british accent thing, people give rocket comedic voice actors. despite the fact that he’s a trigger happy talking raccoon, he’s not actually a comedic character.

    • You fan boys love casting Nathan Fillion as C & D-rate comicbook characters lol

  14. i hope this is good news for other cosmic characters such as Starhawk or Vance Astro

    Also would love to see the male Quasar, Darkhawk, and Adam Warlock someday on the big screen

    • I have no doubt that warlock will be in this movie

  15. I knew Star Wars, I grew up with The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi was a childhood friend of mine…you, Sir, are no Star Wars!

    • No one said it was Star Wars (nothing can be STAR WARS other than Star Wars), but I think they’re going to try and fill the sci-fi void left in the market (by Star Wars) with this movie franchise.

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  17. The more and more I’m starting to think about it, the more I see what type of actor would best fit Starlord. Even in seriously dire situations, Starlord still doesn’t hold back his crazy sense of humor. His personality is more of a comedian 1st and a hero 2nd. Like in Super, the leading role was played by a comedian. Gunn can do that again and have Starlord be played by a comedian. So which comedian actor would be best to play Starlord?

    I’m thinking Ken Marino as Starlord.

  18. I would like Larry Fishburne to voice the raccoon. Give him some gravitas!