Colin Trevorrow explains why he didn't direct Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel Studios. When it was released back in 2014, the film was considered something of a risk for Marvel, as it was based on an obscure comic book property many casual audiences were unfamiliar with. Bolstered by an excellent marketing campaign and strong reviews, Guardians of the Galaxy became one of the biggest hits of the year and launched a new franchise for the MCU. It was one of the first indicators that post-Avengers, Marvel was about to become a behemoth in the film industry.
Of course, arguably the biggest reason why Guardians of the Galaxy was so successful is writer/director James Gunn, who injected his trademark sensibilities of heart and humor into the film and made audiences care about the characters. It's hard to imagine Guardians of the Galaxy working as well as it did without Gunn, which is why there was so much celebration when Disney rehired Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy 3. But before Marvel turned to Gunn, they were looking at other up-and-coming directors for the job, including Trevorrow.
In an interview with Empire, Trevorrow revealed he met with Marvel to talk about Guardians of the Galaxy, but ultimately passed since he wasn't a big comic book fan as a kid:
“I did. I met on Guardians of the Galaxy long, long ago. Yeah, very early. It was a great conversation. I was not a comic book kid. That wasn’t my thing. I was a Star Wars kid, an Indiana Jones kid, a Spielberg kid – that was my thing. So it was a great conversation, but a little bit more of a personal understanding of, you need someone who loved this growing up. [They] should be the ones directing these movies. You’ve gotta live and breathe it in the way that I did Jurassic and these films that I get to be involved in now.”
Obviously, being a die-hard fan of a particular property is not a prerequisite to helm a film about it, but a personal connection can help. It was apparent from the very beginning Gunn cared deeply about characters like Star-Lord, Groot, and Rocket, and that passion came through onscreen. There's a reason why Guardians of the Galaxy is considered one of the better MCU installments, and it's difficult to envision anyone else calling the shots. This isn't to say Trevorrow would have done a poor job with the material if he was given the opportunity, but Guardians of the Galaxy obviously would have turned out very different if he was at the helm. In a way, Trevorrow deserves credit for recognizing the film wasn't for him, which kept the door open for Gunn to come in and turn the Guardians into international superstars.
Trevorrow eventually found something that was better-suited for his tastes when he directed Jurassic World, the soft reboot that revitalized the Jurassic Park franchise and broke box office records in 2015. Granted, not everyone was enthused by Trevorrow's storytelling, but both Jurassic World films made over $1 billion, and Trevorrow is directing a third installment due in 2021. He obviously enjoys playing in the sandbox (see also: the Jurassic World short film that just premiered), which probably stems from his personal attachment to the source material. Perhaps one day he'll get a comic book film, but it sounds like that realm doesn't interest him as much.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022