Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty much a big question mark. Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? Why make a movie out of such an obscure group? Does a movie featuring a blaster-wielding space raccoon have a chance of winning over moviegoers who aren’t already die-hard Marvel zombies? At least one question – Who’s going to direct? — may soon be answered. Word is that Marvel is in talks with James Gunn (Slither) to helm the space-faring franchise.
According to THR’s Heat Vision, Marvel thinks that Gunn’s ability to mix genre action with comedy elements will be a perfect fit for the big-screen Guardians pic. It’s good that Marvel is focusing on a director who can strike the right tone for the movie, because this one has a serious uphill battle to win over moviegoers. So far the cinematic Marvel universe has succeeded at introducing uninitiated to crazy things like Norse gods who are really aliens, but, again, none of those movies have included space raccoons.
The Guardians movie faces some of the same hurdles that DC’s Green Lantern adaptation largely failed to surmount. Even though it sounds like Marvel’s taking a page from Farscape and using a “normal” protagonist to be the audience’s proxy for processing the more outlandish elements of the film. That’s smart, because by having a character actually addressing how crazy all this stuff is on screen then allows audiences to get past the (space) elephant in the room and judge the film on its own merits. Gunn seems a good choice on that front because, like The Avengers‘ Joss Whedon, he has a proven knack for deftly merging insane concepts and release-valve humor. And if he can actually pull this off, it’ll no doubt ramp him up a tier in the directing world.
Marvel’s official logline for Guardians of the Galaxy explains that the flick is “about a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.” Given that the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics have had several run-ins with the villainous Thanos, I’m guessing his cameo appearance in The Avengers wasn’t just a tip of the hat to fans. Whether he’ll be the main villains or not, I’m betting we’ll learn more about him. If so, that could then pave the way for Thanos possibly to play the Big Bad for Avengers 2.
Guardians of the Galaxy is expected to hit theaters in 2014.