James Gunn Almost Passed on Directing 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'

Monday, 15 May 2017 - 8:03PM
Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Monday, 15 May 2017 - 8:03PM
James Gunn Almost Passed on Directing 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'
Marvel/Disney
Major spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ahead - you've been warned. 

Few Marvel directors had as much freedom as James Gunn while making Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, who wrote/directed the film with little oversight from Marvel bigwigs. So far, it's paid off: the colorful Vol. 2 is extremely successful so far, taking some of Marvel's weirdest space creations (particularly Jack Kirby's Ego the Living Planet) and lovingly throwing them onto the big screen.

While Gunn has confirmed he's returning to make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it wasn't always that way. In a Facebook Live interview Gunn gave earlier today, he admitted he came very close to walking away from the series after Vol. 2 was done. Apparently (and again, spoilers), it was because his good friend Michael Rooker wouldn't be returning for the third film as the Ravager captain Yondu, having sacrificed himself to save his adopted son Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) in Vol. 2's finale. 

Opening quote
"Let me tell you, there was nothing harder for me than the choice to kill Yondu in this movie. Michael Rooker, for all the crap I give him, is one of my closest friends in the world and the last thing I wanted to do was to make a movie without Michael Rooker in the future. I almost didn't do Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 because there was no Michael Rooker in it and I couldn't see making the movie without him. He means that much to me and I love him that much. And it was the hardest choice I've ever had to make from a storytelling perspective to choose to have Yondu die. I wrote a bunch of treatments where Yondu did not die."
Closing quote


If you want to see an example of "all the crap" Gunn gives Rooker, the two were teasing each other throughout Vol. 2's red carpet premiere the other week. But they're clearly friends, and while Rooker mostly plays jerks - you may also recognize him as Merle from The Walking Dead - he seems much friendlier in person than as the blue alien Yondu.

In some less sad news from Gunn's interview, he also talked about a Marvel comics villain he wished he could use, if he were allowed access to Fantastic Four characters:

Opening quote
"I think that there's a good chance that if we had all of those characters - I really like the character of Annihilus. And there's a chance that I would have done Annihilus as a villain in one of the movies."
Closing quote

Annihilus was an evil bug-like alien created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and the main villain in a famous Marvel comics event from 2006 called Annihilation, which featured the Guardians and the Silver Surfer as prominent characters. But alas, he's technically a Fantastic Four character and 20th Century Fox currently owns the rights to all of those, which means Annihilus and others like Galactus are currently barred from MCU entry.

Here's the full, hour-long Facebook interview.  Gunn answers some questions in the comment section as well, in case you don't have enough time to watch an hour long interview.



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently in theaters.
Science Fiction
Comic Book Movies
Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
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