Since Guardians of the Galaxy wrapped production a few weeks ago, director James Gunn is busy trying to bring the cosmic comic book movie to the big screen on time for next summer. Guardians of the Galaxy is the biggest question mark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because it’s unclear how the space opera will play with general audiences. But Gunn is certainly confident about the film, and he’s already thinking of how to expand Marvel’s cosmic universe beyond just the Guardians movie.
In an interview with Fandango, Gunn talks about the future of Guardians of the Galaxy and why the cosmic team of peacekeepers is its own thing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If the movie is a big success, Gunn is excited by the prospect of potentially setting up other cosmic Marvel movie franchises. He tells Fandango:
‘I want to lay down the rules, I want to start it — I would love to be able to see it grow into other things,’ he says. ‘I love talking about all the other filmmakers, sitting around with the producer pitching ideas for other filmmakers to take on future Marvel projects. It’s a great thing to be a part of. And I don’t think it’s for everybody, but the truth is for me being able to sort of create this movie is a dream come true and just been a great experience.’
The Marvel universe is so vast, they could easily make a whole series of movies that take place in space like Guardians of the Galaxy. There are epic battles between the Kree Empire and the Skrulls, Planet Hulk, Beta Ray Bill, and S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department), a counterterrorism and intelligence agency in space.
Gunn also discusses the frequent Star Wars comparisons that have been tossed around with regard to Guardians of the Galaxy. When the project was first announced, it was described as Marvel’s version of Star Wars, a sort of short-hand to explain the oddball nature of the superhero space opera. Gunn is now playing down those comparisons. Guardians is, however, aiming for that same sense of wonder and fun that the original Star Wars did so well. Gunn explains:
‘At the risk of sounding pompous, because it’s going to be filtered through me, it’s going to be its own thing no matter what,’ says the director. ‘But I think it was a chance to do something that really could make people feel like I felt when I was a young kid and saw these big spectacular space epics and give them something of that. And that was an exciting thing to be able to do.
In other Guardians news, while Marvel producer and president Kevin Feige has yet to confirm Vin Diesel for the cosmic comic book movie, the Fast & Furious action star is starting to prepare for the role of Groot. Diesel is practicing walking on stilts to learn how to move like a seven-foot alien tree. Apparently, Vin Diesel will not only voice the character, but also do Groot’s motion capture. While Groot only ever says one thing — “I Am Groot” — Diesel has experience giving life and pathos to large, monosyllabic characters. In 1999, he voiced the titular character in Brad Bird’s directorial debut The Iron Giant. Diesel did more than an exceptional job with the role, as I’m sure he’ll also do for Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Benicio del Toro, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Olivia Lovibond, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close as Nova Prime. The Marvel movie will hit theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014, in 3D.