Filmmaker James Gunn has his hands busy between Marvel and DC. We just got to watch The Suicide Squad. He’s been busy filming Peacemaker, a spinoff series for HBO Max. Now, though, he’s shifting back to his work for Marvel so he can finish off the Chris Pratt trilogy. He’s said in the past that the script for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 hasn’t changed since he was briefly fired from Marvel and took that move over to DC. Now, he’s back and ready to turn that script into a movie. However, it turns out, there are a lot of steps in James Gunn’s process before he gets to the big screen, and now, he’s sharing some of them online.
It started off with the first tweet where James Gunn shared a look at the stack of storyboards he’s made for Guardians of the Galaxy 3. From only 12 pages of script, he created enough storyboards to make the paper stack difficult to carry.
In an interview with the Script Apart podcast for The Suicide Squad, James Gunn had shared that while making movies he likes to create very detailed scripts with even more detailed storyboards. When he goes to actually film the movie, he knows what he wants every single shot to look like. Apparently, he wasn’t kidding. Something he hadn’t previously shared though is that he takes the time to draw out those sketches by hand. His storyboards are something he definitely understands. However, taking a look at the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 storyboards below, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you feel the movie has somehow been spoiled for you.
One fan tweeted at James Gunn suggesting that he take his storyboards for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and make a beautiful book, like something that has been done for Star Wars films. He said that he would do that… if he had those kinds of storyboards.
The hard drawn images don’t tell us a whole lot about Guardians of the Galaxy 3, in large part because the drawings themselves are mostly squiggles. However, paired up with the long descriptive paragraphs, they are an interesting look at James Gunn’s process and the detail work he puts into every movie he makes. In the first image we see that a figure with red eyes will be walking through a dry place with colorful coral, letting us know that this area used to be the ocean. It doesn’t seem that the pages he’s showing us are in order. In the next page, we see a ship being pulled by magnets, and Peter Quill running over bodies to get to the ship.
On the third page, we see a water spout pushing the ship up until the air. Quill is now inside the ship, and as it moves, he’s being tossed around inside. James Gunn’s storyboards for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 here go into details about which way the camera should turn shot for shot to follow this action sequence.
The fourth page we see here has just one frame from the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 storyboard, with no paragraph to give us a description. This hints that there is probably a lot happening in this one, and James Gunn knows that we’re all going to struggle to guess what’s happening. The handwritten words say “time cut” and “squealing” as someone is holding a creature that is yelling “ahhh”. This drawing could either show the person trying to carry the creature to safety, deadlift it in a fight, or even eating that creature from the other side. The person could also be a humanoid, or Rocket Racoon. It’s hard to tell.
He also revealed a few more details about this storyboarding process as he moves into Guardians of the Galaxy 3, which were pretty interesting. See below.
Clearly, this is a lot of work. However, he seems to think it’s worth it.
These storyboards give us the first glimpse at a few shots from Guardians of the Galaxy 3, but certainly leave a lot of Marvel secrets on the table. Recent rumors have suggested that Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill may be dying in the upcoming movie, though it’s too early to say. This speculation follows the news that the third installment will be the last Marvel movie for James Gunn.