Now that Guardians Of The Galaxy has become the cinematic phenomenon of the year, grossing over $200million across the world in just a week and being adorned with critical acclaim along the way too, it’s easy to forget just how much of a risk it was for Marvel to adapt the cult comic.
Before it was green-lit, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon were hardly known in the comic-book world, let alone in the movie business.
And it turns out, James Gunn, the man who was placed in charge of directing Guardians Of The Galaxy by Marvel, also had the same concerns when he was hired for the project.
“I just didn’t think it seemed like the best idea for a Marvel movie,” Gunn explained during a Marvel Entertainment promotional interview. “But there was something about it, and it wasn’t that long after I walked out, it was on my drive home from Manhattan Beach that day, that I just started to see, visually, how the movie could come together.”
It sounds as if no-one was that confident going into production. Chris Pratt, who plays Peter Quill, the loveable lead of the film, also recently explained to Esquire that he almost turned down the role because he couldn’t imagine himself playing the main protagonist in a blockbuster.
Having allegedly embarrassed himself when auditioning for other action films, Pratt didn’t want to go through that ordeal again. “When Guardians Of The Galaxy was pitched to me, I said, ‘I don’t think so,’ I just didn’t picture myself getting the role,” he explained.
“I didn’t want to go and embarrass myself like I did when I auditioned for G.I. Joe a couple of years previously,” he continued. “I went in there, and halfway through I saw the director’s eyes just glaze over. It made sense — I was a little heavy and out of shape. I was not gonna play someone from G.I. Joe. I did not look like a G.I. Joe action figure come to life.”
Guardians Of The Galaxy’s magnificent triumph though means that the franchise is already being touted as the cornerstone to Marvel’s future cinematic phases. A sequel has been confirmed for 2017, and speculation over what it could entail has already started to swirl. Kevin Feige, Marvel’s president who has helped to oversee the studio’s recent period of success, has even teased that it will be about Quill’s mysterious father.