Beginning with Jon Favreau on Iron Man, Marvel has made some really smart choices about who they hire to helm their Cinematic Universe superhero movies. Joe Johnston was pretty much born to direct the first Captain America movie. Shane Black helped make Iron Man 3 a worldwide mega-hit, raking in $1.2 billion. And Joss Whedon did the once-thought-impossible and actually delivered the Avengers movie fans had been dreaming about for decades. Now James Gunn and the Guardians of the Galaxy are poised to rocket into theaters, and Gunn has revealed that Whedon himself went to bat to help the Slither director land the job. But that apparently wasn’t Whedon’s only contribution to Guardians.
Gunn apparently first met with Marvel reps in July 2011, where they showed off concept art and pitched him on the project. Gunn wasn’t initially sold on the idea of directing Guardians, but can you blame him? When it was first announced it felt like anything but a sure thing, since it involves an obscure Marvel property and, as far as we know, no appearances by any of the more familiar Marvel characters to serve as an entry point for audiences. But the more Gunn thought about it, the more he began to imagine what his Guardians movie would look like, and the more he wanted the job. So he eventually emailed his friend Joss to ask for help. Gunn told our sister site CinemaBlend, “I wrote him an e-mail and said, ‘Hey, you know I’m trying to get this job. Can you help me?’ And he said, ‘You’re f***ing late. I already talked to all of them guys about you.’”