James Gunn recently defended his decision to change certain aspects of Guardians of the Galaxy from the original comics. The writer/director has lent his unique vision to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to thrilling effect, garnering widespread acclaim for both the first Guardians of the Galaxy and the highly successful Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He’s also long been unafraid to share his thoughts on the making of the movies and give glimpses into his filmmaking methods.
As with any writer/director adapting a movie from vast, complex source material, Gunn took some liberties with the characters you see in the Guardians movies as compared to their comic counterparts. He will likely continue to do so in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which may be set for release in 2020. Naturally, such changes run the risk of drawing criticism from devoted fans of the comics, but as Gunn explained in a new interview, sometimes they are necessary for the sake of the movie – and so far, it’s hard to argue with his results.
Speaking with THR, Gunn defended the choices he made to change key Guardians of the Galaxy characters from the comics to the movies. His response concerned Adam Warlock, who is expected to appear in Vol. 3, and how he would be unafraid to take liberties with the character. Here’s how Gunn explained his approach:
“I always do what’s best for the movie. A lot of times that means taking things from the source material, and other times it’s changing things. … I’ve changed a lot already from the comics with the Guardians. Groot’s personality in the first Guardians, which people loved, was nothing like his personality in the comics. He didn’t have that puppy-dog innocence that we love about Groot. I don’t restrain myself in any way when it comes to using stuff from the comics or not using it.”
Groot started out as simply a villainous tree monster, and used to say a lot more than just “I am Groot” before the events of the Annihilation: Conquest crossover comic. Even after, he has been a nobler, gentler member of the Guardians who certainly doesn’t display the “puppy-dog innocence” to the level that he does in the movie.
Gunn changed far more than just Groot though. The director also stripped away Peter Quill’s cybernetic enhancements and made Yondu into more of a morally compromised space pirate than a “noble savage”, among several other modifications. Obviously, his changes ultimately worked out for the better, as the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie still stands as one of the MCU’s most memorable entries.
With any movie adapted from another medium, there’s always the risk of going too far with changes made from the source material. Major alterations could alienate certain fans or, worse, be a detriment to the movie. But Gunn is clearly not concerned with being too “faithful” to the comics, and so far the Guardians of the Galaxy movies have mostly benefitted from his creative fearlessness.
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