Rocket as a Metaphor for James Gunn
James Gunn has always admitted that Rocket is the character he most relates to. The Redditor suggests this is no coincidence; rather, in his opinion, Rocket's story is actually a perfect parallel for James Gunn's own life. Gunn's career as a film-maker began with Troma Entertainment, a production company known for making low-budget shock exploitation films filled with sex, nudity, and extreme graphic violence. His first-ever screenwriting credit was the Troma movie Tromeo and Juliet, a Romeo and Juliet parody that's fairly typical of Troma productions. The early James Gunn used humor to offend as much as to entertain, a similar defense mechanism. That's the kind of humor demonstrated in the recent tweets that caused such controversy.
But the experience of producing the Guardians movies changed James. His brother Sean described this change in a Twitter thread over the weekend, in which he insisted that those ten-year-old tweets do not represent the person James Gunn has become.
"In many respects this change in my brother was reflected in the change that the Guardians go through. I've heard my brother say many times that when Quill rallies the team with "this is our chance to give a shit"--to care--that it's the pep talk he himself needed to hear. It's part of what made working on the Guardians movies such a rewarding experience for the cast, myself included. We managed to find ourselves involved in a big-budget superhero movie that was, at its core, deeply personal. That's a gift. And that's why it's good."
Ironically, James Gunn has made no secret of this fact. Controversy reared its head back in 2012, when Gunn was first hired by Marvel to produce Guardians of the Galaxy. He came under fire for an old blog post titled The 50 Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With," and issued an apology admitting that looking back he didn't think his old work was actually funny at all. When he first got the job with Marvel, he feared losing his edge would sap his creative talent. Instead, it liberated him. By his own account, working for Marvel forced James Gunn to become a different person, a man he much prefers.
Every creator puts a part of themselves in their work. In the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket's journey parallels James Gunn's own. Whether this is indeed the final Easter egg or not, this latest Reddit theory is an important one because it offers a window into James Gunn's soul. At a time when he is being defined by tweets posted a decade ago, it is a reminder that people change - and, indeed, that every Marvel viewer has actually experienced James Gunn's journey with him.
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