James Gunn Reveals How He Changed Marvel Forever With One Element

He's really got some stones.

By Douglas Helm | Published

james gunn

The MCU is definitely Hollywood’s best example of a vast, successful interconnected cinematic universe. To make all of this possible, there needs to be a plan and a figurehead like Kevin Fiege behind the scenes to make sure everything falls into place. However, these plans need to be flexible to ensure the best story wins out, and it appears that’s exactly what happened when it came to the Infinity Stones. According to James Gunn, they weren’t even a part of the MCU grand plan until after his first draft of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Check out his Tweet below:

This just goes to show how intricate the planning for the MCU can be. As James Gunn says, he had all of the major story arcs planned out for his versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy team, but obviously, his plans for Gamora had to change due to the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. This is definitely an interesting fact to learn because the Guardians ended up being an extremely important part of Thanos’ story.

While the Infinity Stones were introduced to the MCU by name in Thor: The Dark World, they made a few appearances before that movie. However, it seems like they decided to retroactively dub these MacGuffins Infinity Stones once they decided on Thanos’ storyline. The first Infinity Stone we’re introduced to is the Space Stone in Captain America: The First Avenger. However, the stone was contained in a device called the Tesseract. The Mind Stone was introduced in The Avengers as Loki’s primary weapon. Thor: The Dark World would introduce the Reality Stone as a weapon dubbed the Aether. Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the Power Stone and get an official explanation about the Infinity Stones from Benicio del Toro’s character, the Collector while the Soul Stone had to wait for Infinity War.

Guardians of the Galaxy was released in 2014, which perfectly lines up with Marvel revealing their plans for the Infinity Stones. Once James Gunn introduced the concept of the stones in his Guardians of the Galaxy script, it gave Marvel the perfect direction to take Thanos’, ahem, endgame. We first saw Thanos in a post-credits scene in The Avengers. We then saw him nab the Infinity Gauntlet in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which came out in 2015, one year after Guardians of the Galaxy. And thus, the race for the Infinity Stones was officially underway.

Obviously, things worked out for the best. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are widely regarded as some of the best movies the MCU has to offer. Thanos is easily one of the best villains the MCU has had to date and both movies featuring the Mad Titan made insane amounts of money, putting them firmly in the highest-grossing movies of all time category. Fortunately, despite the changes made to Gamora’s character as a result of the Infinity Stones, we’ll be getting a final chapter to James Gunn’s Guardians story with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on May 5, 2023.