Marvel is well-known for sprinkling Easter Eggs throughout their movies, with their most recent offering, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, briefly referencing the upcoming Doctor Strange. When Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters next month, fans should prepare themselves for an Easter Egg overload, according to director James Gunn.
During a recent interview with Moviefone, the filmmaker revealed that there are "tons" of Marvel Easter Eggs throughout the movie, with a character count that is "four times" greater than any previous Marvel movie. However, he did have to clear everything with Marvel's legal department.
"I actually have to clear everything with legal. We put in little things like graffiti on the walls and stuff like that. There's a ton of characters from the comics in this movie, in little tiny roles. But we have to clear everything with legal because once I use their name then I'm screwed in that scene or whatever. We have just tons of reference to Marvel Cosmic throughout the movie. And I'm certain probably the most Marvel comics characters ever in one movie."
The director also touched on keeping a balance between the outrageous moments and the drama between the characters.
"A big part of making this film is, we're making something that is so outlandish and out there with so many crazy situations, and characters and settings, that to keep it anchored in the drama and the reality of these characters' emotional lives is the most important thing in the film. It's been a balance but it feels pretty comfortable. That said, it's still a pretty different movie. And think it's a really different movie for a huge film to have as much comedy and drama as it has. It's very unusual."
"I'd already talked to Joss a lot about what it was like going through The Avengers -- what his experience was like. I wrote him an e-mail and said, 'Hey, I'm trying to get this job. Can you help me?' And he said, 'You're f*cking late. I already talked to all of those guys all about you.' So, yeah I did do that. And I don't do that stuff normally. That's like the most embarrassing thing."
"Joss came in and Joss was happy, but he wasn't as happy as everybody else and I was like, 'Whoa, man!' And he's like, 'Well, I really loved this and this is great, and the story's been cracked. But you know, I just really want there to be more James Gunn in the script. There's things that are too conventional and I want more James Gunn in it,' I was sitting there and then [Marvel bigwigs] Kevin and Lou were like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.' And I was like, 'All right, your funeral.' Then I went home and I swear to God, wrote a 7-page scene where the guys are in the spaceship arguing about something and it's all dialogue, and we're about to shoot it on Friday. And they were really happy. That was a cool thing and I think it's been a unique situation where Marvel -- this group of characters is ready for somebody who sees things in the way I see things. And frankly, I think people are ready to see the movie like that. So, it feels good."
When asked about the expectations fans have for Guardians of the Galaxy, the filmmaker had this to say.
"I guess I just don't think of it so much as expectations. I'm definitely trying to make a huge commercial, fun, awesome movie that moves people. I don't know that's an expectation so much as just something I'm trying to achieve. I think in terms of the expectations from the fans... one of the great things about Guardians of the Galaxy is there aren't as many expectations on what to expect when you have The Avengers. There are a lot fewer titles to choose from. And there are a lot fewer fans in general of Guardians of the Galaxy. Those types of expectations I think are easier with a movie like this. For me, I'm always hard on myself no matter what, so that's always a thing I have to deal with on a daily basis. And that's whether I'm doing this movie or in a relationship with a girl or whatever. It's like I just beat the sh*t out of myself constantly. So, same old, same old."
Guardians of the Galaxy is a big leap forward for James Gunn, in terms of the budget he's been given to work with. The filmmaker talks about the differences in shooting this massive Marvel Phase Two movie, compared to his first directorial two offerings, Slither and Super.
"I mean, I'd say radically different yes and no. For me it all comes back to just my own experience. For me, just because of the length of it, it makes it a much different experience from doing something like Super, which we shot in 24 days for $3 million. We had to do like 50 set-ups a day so it was just a harrowing, tough experience. And this is difficult but it's because it's over such a long period of time. But on a day-to-day basis it's actually a lot more-using the word easy is not the greatest thing but yeah, it's easier, because you do have more time for the set up, you have more time for planning. We had more time for planning, period."
Guardians of the Galaxy is also the director's first PG-13 movie, although he revealed there were no big challenges in crafting a PG-13 story. Let's not forget that he did write both Scooby Doo movies...
"I haven't found any difficulty in myself going from R-rated to PG-13. Occasionally, I get a little too violent but for the most part I haven't been, and the person who censored me has been myself. It is a real delicate balance. First and foremost, we're making an action adventure film-that's what this is. At its core it's an action adventure film. But there's also a lot of comedic elements and there's a lot of dramatic elements, which I think people are gonna be surprised to see, because it really is dramatic."