Why James Gunn Thought Guardians Of The Galaxy Was A Bad Idea At First

Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy

By this point, James Gunn's name is synonymous with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Marvel fans likely equate him as a member of the team, as much as they would Peter Quill, Gamora or Drax. But Gunn recently admitted that the idea of the Guardians didn't appeal to him. That he actually thought it was bad. But he also explains what lured him over to the side of the Guardians, and we all win. Gunn recently revealed:

I know, for me, when I first was pitched Guardians of the Galaxy, it was something that I frankly [during] my first hearing of it, I thought it was not a good idea. I thought it was a talking raccoon, with these strange characters, I thought it was too weird. I thought it sounded to me, like when they first pitched it to me, as if it was Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers. And I didn't think it was something that was going to work.

That's really funny. And in someone else's hands, the notion of the Guardians of the Galaxy really could have backfired. A different filmmaker might have leaned too heavily into one character over the other. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his Han Solo-type tendencies could have dominated the narrative, or everyone on the team could have taken a back seat to Groot. Instead, what James Gunn did was balance his audience's interest in the formation of a complete team. And while many view Guardians as the funniest franchise in the MCU, Gunn told the gathered crowds at the E3 convention, who were attending his World Building Panel, that it was the underlying sadness in these characters that eventually won him over. He elaborated:

I was going home, and I knew the Guardians from the comics and I really liked them, I just didn't think it was something that was going to fit into the Marvel Universe. But as I was driving home, I thought, 'OK, well, let's just take a moment to think about this.' If there was such a thing as a talking raccoon, what would it be? How could it come to be?... And I actually found the answers to these questions were these incredibly sad answers... To me that was the foundation of the entire Guardians of the Galaxy Guardians-verse.

In hindsight, James Gunn's decisions on Guardians of the Galaxy worked. The first movie was a smash hit, and the recent sequel is currently sitting at $834 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. Gunn even recently finished the first pass on his draft of the treatment of Guardians of the Galaxy 3, which he already confirmed that he is going to write.

But it's always interesting to see how these forks in the road could have played out differently if filmmakers like Gunn had made a left turn when we expected them to make a right. If Gunn had decided that the talking raccoon was just too silly, the Guardians might be a different franchise. The MCU might be in a different state, and the budding Marvel Cosmic Universe might never happen. What if? We'll never know.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.