James Gunn Talks ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ and Beyond

By November 10, 2014
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Fanboys and fangirls’ hearts across the world screamed with glee during Marvel’s Phase 3 reveal event in Los Angeles, which included the newly-changed opening date for the sequel to the continuing massive success known as Guardians of the Galaxy, aptly titled Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (for now). Never one to rest on his laurels (as he still finds himself traveling around the globe in support of the film), writer/director extraordinaire James Gunn sat down with the gang at The Playlist to talk about his process when making GoTG, including discussion of the sequel and potentially beyond.

When asked about the plot for GoTG 2, Gunn hilariously starts with, “We open up on a Mission: Impossible scenario where all the characters die,” then said “No, to be honest, I had the basic story for number two while I was working on number one, and perhaps even beyond that. So it’s gonna answer a lot of questions that are proposed in the first one, and we’ll be able to get to know some of the characters we didn’t get to know in the first one a little bit more, and we might meet a few new characters too.”

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New characters? Oh my. I’m hoping for Rocket’s frenemy known as the mercenary Blackjack O’ Hare (above) and the only one who can soften Rocket’s rough edges, his lady love, Lylla (below) – who’s a badass in her own right!

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When comparing the budgets of Super ($3 million) to GoTG ($170 million), of course you’re going to want the big budget film money bag, and Gunn doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to how difficult it was to get Super made for that amount of money.

Generally I like making big movies! It suits me, especially when I can make them like Guardians where I’m actually loving what I’m telling. I wouldn’t want to go off and do something I wasn’t excited about, but luckily I’m excited by big pop things, I’m just like that. And I like being able to mix it with something that’s a little edgier. I’m pretty lucky…I made Super for $3 million, and that was filmed in 24 days. And that $3 million dollars went to a lot of things other than what shows up on screen. Once you get done with the unions and everything else, that’s just like the basic cost of what you can make a movie for. And it was not easy, it was a pretty harrowing experience, especially when you work the way that I do — I’m not a guy who goes in and finds the moment, I’m a guy who plans everything. I’m happy that I did it, in part because it got me Guardians, but it was pretty difficult.

And when you give a big budget to a guy who knows how to rock a shoestring budget, Gunn gives you a stellar product either way – but even he’ll tell you that just because you have a massive budget, it doesn’t mean that you can just go “balls out” with the cash, either.

It’s a series of cheats. And Guardians was very much like that. I very much knew that there were certain things about Guardians that needed to stay the Marvel way, but then figuring out a way around them to do my own thing was I think part of what made me have so much fun with the movie. So there’s always those things, whether they’re budgetary or otherwise. And even on Guardians, there was a lot of budgetary constraints.

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There’s plenty more in the full interview, but it’s interesting to hear Gunn mention that he has the story figured out for the second film “and perhaps even beyond that.” Will Marvel greenlight a third Guardians movie, or will the studio roll the motley crew of antiheroes together with another one of their newly-announced franchises? Will Gunn return to write and direct that sequel, should it get the greenlight?

It looks like Gunn may be done with the indie route for a bit, but since he’s going to be a busy, busy bee for the next couple of years, I’ll allow it. GoTG 2 won’t hit theaters until May 5, 2017, so I’ll just buy two copies of this year’s runaway hit Guardians Of The Galaxy on Blu-ray when it hits shelves on December 9th and watch the crap out of them in the interim!

What about you? What characters would YOU like to see pop up in GoTG 2? Do you think Marvel will greenlight a third Guardians film, and should Gunn return?

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Cricket Lee
Star Wars fangirl. Named Best Kisser by Time Magazine. CEO/Host: Girl Gamer; host of Gecken: GeekNation; writer: Dread Central. You'll have a crush on me soon. Vote Quimby. Twitter: @crixlee http://www.imdb.me/crixlee