James Gunn is having a pretty terrific 2014: the Troma wunderkind gets to claim bragging rights for directing the year's highest grossing domestic release, Marvel's big screen gamble Guardians of the Galaxy, while basking in the showered adulation of his peers, his fans, and critics alike. Having Joss Whedon, lord and master of the MCU, say good things about your movie before it opens in theaters probably doesn't suck. Receiving similar, if possibly more effusive, compliments from Al Pacino isn't half bad, either.
If you're directing a Marvel film, Whedon might be the uppermost source you'd expect high praise from. Pacino, on the other hand, exists so far outside the realm of the comic book movie that his bout of Guardians gushing would seem to come entirely from left field. But that's exactly what happened at this year's Venice International Film Festival, where the acting legend laid down rave after rave over Guardians' spectacle and ingenuity, even going so far as to put it on a Shakespearean level.
Pacino made his remarks about Gunn's film while discussing his own current projects screening at the festival, David Gordon Green's Manglehorn and Barry Levinson's The Humbling. In point of fact, it almost seems that Guardians was the more important topic of conversation; maybe it's because Guardians is the blockbuster of the year, maybe it's because there's novelty in the notion of Michael Corleone loving a movie featuring an anthropomorphic raccoon, but when Deadline sat down to chat with Pacino one on one, they just had to hear more of his thoughts on the lauded space opera.
Inevitably, their talk led to the matter of whether or not Pacino could ever see himself being in a Marvel movie, with specific mention made of Guardians of the Galaxy 2; if his Guardians love fest came as a shock, then his reply might be more so. Here's the full quote, direct from Pacino himself:
“I would do anything that I could understand in terms of how I fit in it. And you know, of course if I could fit in it. Anything’s possible. You know, I did Dick Tracy and I got an Oscar nomination, so come on. I mean, what can I say?”
As is always the case with "if" statements, don't make his words into more than they are: the man is merely expressing his possible interest in showing up in a Marvel film. On top of that, his response is so nonchalantly roundabout that it's difficult to gauge how seriously to take him. There isn't a "yes" or a "no" here, just a vaguely worded answer to a loaded question. So don't expect Pacino to show in the next Guardians jaunt, or in any future Marvel production, until further notice.
At the same time, Pacino doesn't exactly dismiss the suggestion, either, and so neither should Marvel. Pacino's at a point in his career where he doesn't need to prove anything to anybody; his filmography is long, varied, and largely successful, whether looking at his work in the Godfather trilogy, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Glengarry Glen Ross, or Angels in America (just to scratch the surface). If he found Guardians of the Galaxy quite as delightful as the rest of us, it stands to reason he might like the idea of having some fun and dipping his toes in that world.
But if we're left to speculate over his flimsy potential involvement in the MCU at large, where would Pacino figure in and who would he play? Grandmaster, perhaps, or Mephisto (though that's a tad obvious)? What do you think, Screen Ranters? If the stars align, would Pacino be a good fit for Marvel?
Guardians of the Galaxy is currently in theaters.