James Gunn is gleaming. Glowing like gold. Perhaps because his pet project Guardians of the Galaxy is GOLDEN and has turned into an intergalactic hit grossing $160 million worldwide in it’s opening weekend. Gunn is on fire! And Guardians 2 has even been greenlit and that’s a big feat for a guy who considers himself somewhat of an outcast who could never really fit into the Hollywood frame.
I got a chance to speak to Gunn during a 4-day press junket in Los Angeles for the Guardians of the Galaxy Event.
“I think really what I do best is picking other people and finding what other people are good at, and sort of arranging those in a way that, you know, makes a good movie. And I think that’s really what, a good director is able to do. And then I have a basic knowledge of most parts of filmmaking. So that I can have a conversation with those people, just sort of bring a film to the desired place.
Q: What drew you to GUARDIANS?
“I think the main thing that drew me to GUARDIANS was the ability to create a whole new wing of the Marvel universe. With GUARDIANS I was able to create, not just a new world, but new worlds, new characters, new species. And I found that to be just the most freeing thing ever. When I was a little boy, I had a box. And this box, I was sort of obsessed with. And within it I would have… I was obsessed with the solar system and all the different planets. And I would make, drawings for each one of the different planets, of the species that lived on that planet. What their pets were. And what their houses looked like, what their water systems were like. And this box became filled over time with this sort of universe inside of it that I created. And that is, that’s where my heart was. And that’s still where my heart is. Because that’s what this movie is. So…”
Q: Who’s your favorite Guardian and why.
“The one I feel the most connected to is Rocket. Because I feel, the outcast in Rocket. And although I think that Rocket is the meanest Guardian, I think he’s the most selfish Guardian. I think he’s probably the Guardian that learns the least at the end of the movie. He is the saddest. And, well, it’s very strange. Very strange I connected ’cause I started to get emotional.
[AWWW FROM WOMEN IN AUDIENCE]
“But I feel like he’s like [LAUGHS] — he’s just this little mangled guy that is completely alone in this world. There’s nothing else like him, he’s been torn apart and put back together again. He was originally an innocent little animal, I love animals to begin with. So he’s just a, you know, I’ve come to love him. And, and I think probably also because, you know, I probably had the greatest time in creating Rocket over any of the other Guardians. Rocket and Groot both. Unlike Star-Lord, Chris and I have to be on the same level.
“And see that we see things in the same way. I write his dialogue, he says it. I pull this stuff out of him, he adds stuff. We’re creating a character together, with Rocket, and there’s a lot more people involved. It’s much more like conducting a symphony, within one character. To make somebody alive and so it tends to become more of a real character to me.”
Q: How’s it feel doing a PG-13 movie, knowing it’s gonna be geared more towards a younger audience, versus your R rated movie?
“I loved it. When I set out to make this movie, I didn’t set out to make a movie that was, you know, like the movies I loved as a kid. You know, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and STAR WARS, and these films. But I wanted to make a movie that would make kids and adults feel like I felt when I saw this movie. You know, something that would actively inspire imagination. Something that could touch me both — and I found it in the great opportunity to make a movie that was about family, about friendship.
“It’s a movie about caring. It’s a movie that allows emotions into a spectacle film, which is extremely rare, you know. Real characters, real people with flaws. You know, not exactly real people, real aliens. Monsters and that stuff. Go ahead.”
My Interview with Zoe Saldana http://cincomom.com/2014/07/31/zoesaldana-talks-being-a-great-role-model-in-green-guardiansofthegalaxyevent/
My Interview with Chris Pratt http://cincomom.com/2014/07/28/star-lord-chris-pratt-talks-getting-fit-for-guardians-guardiansofthegalaxyevent/
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (8/1/14)