Guardians of the Galaxy was supposed to have a cool Star Wars Easter egg, but a much more iconic replacement wiped it out. Not only that, it's being revealed that Guardians Vol. 2 is an autobiographical movie of sorts, at least according to its director James Gunn. As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 winds down its epic box office run, earning an impressive $380.6 million domestically and $851.8 million worldwide, from a $200 million budget, writer-director James Gunn is shedding some new light on the truth behind the story.
James Gunn was part of a panel at the Shanghai International Film Festival, which also included writer Max Borenstein (Godzilla) and Chinese writer-director Peter Chan Ho-sun (American Dreams in China), where the latter gave praise to the Guardians 2 director, calling his superhero sequel "a personal film, with one director behind it." In response, director James Gunn had this to say.
"Rocket is me, feeling outcast and forgotten."
Variety reports that James Gunn also spoke about his background, revealing that he grew up as a shy teenager in a small Missouri town. He added that the iconic Star Wars films were also early influences on him as a young filmmaker, adding that Hong Kong cinema had a big impact on him as well. Here's what he had to say about the Chinese filmmakers that inspired and influenced him.
"The structure of Guardians of the Galaxy comes straight from Hong Kong cinema (where anything can happen at any moment). Johnnie To, John Woo and Ringo Lam made me fall in love with cinema even more than I had been before. I was created in giant petri dish to make Guardians of the Galaxy."
The director added that while this was his first visit to mainland China, he has kept up with Chinese fans through his account on a Chinese social media platform known as WeiboChinese. After the release of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, many Chinese fans complained about the subtitles, which lead the director to work much more closely with the translator for the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which helped the director avoid misinterpreted dialogue and words that were invented for the movie.
In related news, during a press conference for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that there almost was a tangible connection between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchise in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The producer revealed that they had always wanted to show that Peter Quill was a human born on Earth, and early on, Kevin Feige said there was a scene where an alien character finds a Darth Vader action figure. Instead, though, they went with a suggestion from director James Gunn, that certainly proved to be the right move.
"Always, we wanted to reveal at a certain point in the movie that Peter Quill was a human from Earth. And for a long time, I really thought it was going to be the greatest thing in the world that you're in a spaceship and he's talking to one of the alien characters and he knocks over his bag and one of the alien characters bends down and picks up and it was a Darth Vader action figure, goes, 'What's this?' To make a long story short, James Gunn was basically like, 'I got a better idea. What if he had a Walkman and listened to music?' And it was like, 'Oh, that's a million times better.' Because the Star Wars thing was just a nerdy reference in a single moment, and obviously, the conceit of the music redefined the entire movie."
Of course, the Walkman ended up being an iconic touch, and helped set up the conceit of the Awesome Mixtape, which Peter Quill's mother (Laura Haddock) made for her son before she passed away. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues to do well at the box office, James Gunn is hard at work writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will likely be one of the first three Marvel Phase 4 movies that have been set for release in 2020, but that has yet to be confirmed. Hopefully we'll hear more about the future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in the near future.