James Gunn Explains Guardians of the Galaxy's Villain Problem

Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gun has opened up about the weak villain in the first Guardians of the Galaxy and explained why Ronan came out that way. Marvel hit the jackpot when they took the risk of bringing together the unknown batch of galactic misfits; Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot swiftly became household names and are next set to meet The Avengers. But despite the MCU's first full venture in the cosmic realm proving to be a success against all odds, it wasn't perfect; just like many projects in the blockbuster saga, it also came with a half-baked, one-dimensional big bad.

Ronan's intriguing connection with mad Titan Thanos and Kree (a major race in the comic books) were initial indications that just maybe Guardians Vol. 1 would be able to differentiate itself from other MCU films in terms of the villain. Unfortunately, due to his weak motivations, Lee Pace's angry hammer-wielder likewise failed to deliver. However, this problem didn't escape Gunn.

During a Facebook Q&A, the filmmaker was asked by a fan on the things he would have done differently in any of the Guardians films. Gunn responded saying he'd fix Ronan and explained why the character wound up the way he did:

"There is some messy villain plot stuff in the first movie I'd like to deal with again. There was a committee working for Marvel at the time (now defunct) who had a lot of input, and that was primarily where it ended up. It just got a little messy. My favorite part of both movies is probably the Cat Stevens montage at the end of Vol. 2. It still gets me emotionally. I also still love Drax petting Rocket in Vol. 1."

Ronan and Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy

The in-company group that Gunn was referring to was the infamous Marvel Creative Committee who existed to (in theory) improve the stories told. The board was made up of several key personalities from different pockets in Marvel - comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel Comics publisher Dan Buckley, current Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Enterprises Joe Quesada and Alan Fine. The list looks promising on paper, but several reports throughout the years suggested that it was often times a source of conflict than of actual help. The council was eventually dismantled in 2015, with Guardians Vol. 1 one of the last projects to be overseen by it.

It is no secret that the MCU has been plagued with weak villains. Over the course of sixteen movies, there have only been a handful of antagonists that were fully fleshed and were given sensible motivations. Further, with the exception of the recurring Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the bad guys are often one and done.

That said, it seems that recent MCU movies are putting more and more focus on developing well-developed and fully-fleshed big bads. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had a unique twist to theirs with Ego the Living Planet and Spider-Man: Homecoming's The Vulture was praised as one of the best overall within the franchise. Hopefully this can continue into the many in-development films.

Next: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Almost Fixes Marvel’s Villain Problem

Source: James Gunn

Key Release Dates
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
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