James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy has become one of the most popular parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in large part because of the way the movie is unique among superhero films. At least some of that is apparently thanks to Joss Whedon. According to Gunn, Joss Whedon read an early draft of the first Guardians script and he told the director honestly that the film needed something. Namely, it needed more of James Gunn. Whedon felt that the script didn't really have Gunn's unique flare, and Whedon encouraged him to bring more of himself to the story. In James Gunn's words...

When Joss Whedon read the first draft that I had written of Guardians of the Galaxy, he thought it wasn't "James Gunn" enough. I had actually been holding back. I was afraid that to make a huge commercial movie, I had to make it like other movies. Joss said, "I like the parts that are 'James Gunn.' Just make it more 'James Gunn.'" And that's what I did. I was glad he gave me that vote of confidence.

James Gunn was a truly unique choice to direct Guardians of the Galaxy. His two previous feature films, Slither and Super were not exactly big budget blockbuster tentpoles. Apparently, the pressure of taking on a movie like that had Gunn a little, well, gun shy. He wasn't sure how well his normal style would translate to a big commercial film and his response was then to dial back on that style. In a piece Gunn himself wrote for MovieMaker, the director recommends that future filmmakers always put themselves in their films.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Luckily, Guardians of the Galaxy came out in between the two Avengers movies, and so Joss Whedon was still a major part of Marvel Studios. This is likely why Whedon ended up looking at the script in the first place. We're all glad he did, because otherwise, we may not have ever seen a Guardians of the Galaxy that was so "James Gunn." The original Guardians of the Galaxy is regarded by many, including this writer, as the best movie the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet created. The film's humor and style are most of the reason why. It helped these mostly unknown, and somewhat odd, characters stand out among the crowd of comic book heroes.

Now, fans are waiting to see if James Gunn can do it all again with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The movie will be available for early previews this evening before seeing its official wide release Friday. Overall, early reviews are good and while the sequel may not be viewed as being quite as good as its predecessor, nobody is arguing that the film isn't "James Gunn" enough.

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