That Marvel has put all of its future Cosmic film adaptation eggs into one basket - Guardians of the Galaxy - is a pressure-filled scenario. Never mind the studio, what about the man who's been handed the proverbial keys to this potential Marvel movie castle? No added stress there, right? Surprisingly enough, Guardians director and writer James Gunn (Slither, Super) doesn't seem fazed at all about collective high expectations, whether studio or fan-driven. Gunn's main concerns are character-driven and that's what we'd hope from a director who "gets it."
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Gunn to discuss his potential blockbuster and spoke mainly about which Guardians he wants to put in the sequel, his hopes for increasing the number of leading ladies in Marvel movies, if/when he'll get to make Thunderbolts, and why no one has seen the second end-credits button for Guardians of the Galaxy yet.
This is the first Marvel movie I'm recommending to everyone I know, including my parents.
I've heard that a lot, parents liked it a lot, I've heard we have more female fans than other movies in terms of their reaction, that's been awesome. I love the idea of broadening the spectrum of Marvel fans so that it's not just one group of people.
The amazing technical achievement of Groot and Rocket, do you think this might open the door for other fully-animated characters?
I think it's great if it does, but it's a difficult process. I worry about it in the wrong hands, quite frankly. We worked extremely hard, I love those characters. I know Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper love those characters, my brother Sean [Gunn] who played Rocket on set, he loves those characters and I know those animators poured their hearts and souls into the movie and they loved the characters so you really need a lot of care and concern to do this thing in a real way.
If Guardians does well, do you think Marvel will let you make Thunderbolts?
Thunderbolts? I will tell you, one time I was saying to Kevin [Feige], we were sitting on set together on one of the days he visited and I said, 'You know, I really want to make Thunderbolts,' and he said, 'James, if Guardians does well you'll be able to do whatever you want so we'll see what happens.
You think Bug might make it into a Guardians sequel?
We don't own Bug. So Bug is not in the sequel he would be one of my primarily contenders for a sequel but to be completely honest, I 'm in love with the Guardians and I would love to stay in the Marvel Cosmic arena for the time being. It's true.
What do you know about when we get to see that second end credits sequence?
I do know yeah, I directed it! Oh whoops. It's directed by me, it will be out and it introduces something really awesome to the Marvel Universe that people will get to see, but not until the movie comes out in theaters, we're saving it.
That's fair, although there were some "Booos" at the screening when we didn't get to see it
I know! I wished they would've warned you guys that there was no tag sequence before you watched it.
What other Guardians would you like to add to a potential sequel?
I love a lot of the other Guardians so I think about it quite a bit. I love… I love a lot of them and if I say one then all those fans of that one character are going to come out and then I might decide that character doesn't work as well so we'll see. We may have some Guardians we've already met...
I'm hoping for more ladies...
One of my true hopes is that we can have at least two women in the next iteration of the Guardians whenever that may be whether it's the next movie or the next one after that, that we can break this thing of having one women in every [Marvel movie] although i must say, I'm not sure what sex Groot is, I don't see any junk so I think he's his own thing.
More: James Gunn Set Interview
Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014.