The MCU is generally regarded as a well-oiled machine that always delivers blockbuster. But the franchise's non-stop success cannot be taken for granted, considering how many of their offerings are so bizarre or obscure that any producer would think twice before greenlighting them. Case in point, the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Actress Amanda Seyfried revealed that she had been offered the role of Gamora in the film, but the premise of the story was too bizarre for her liking.
"I didn't want to be part of the first Marvel movie that bombed. I said, 'Who wants to see a movie about a talking tree and a raccoon?' Which is clearly - I was very wrong. The script was great, it was all based on not wanting to be 'that guy'. Because if you're the star of a giant movie like that, and it bombs, Hollywood does not forgive you. I've seen that happen to people and it was a giant, giant fear. I thought, is it worth it?"
The concerns coming from Amanda Seyfried seem quite valid when considered on their own merit, without the benefit of hindsight. It is a testament to the work done by filmmaker James Gunn on the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie that the characters of the talking tree Groot, and Rocket Raccoon, far from preventing audiences from taking the film seriously, ended up becoming fan favorites.
While Groot was responsible for the most touching scene in the movie, when he sacrificed his life to save the rest of the Guardians, Rocket proved so popular with viewers that he was given a prominent role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
Seyfried's decision to give Guardians of the Galaxy a miss might have been a blessing for the franchise. The role of Gamora was taken on by Zoe Saldana instead, who brought a unique mix of menace and vulnerability to the role. Saldana's Gamora was so compelling that her arc with her father Thanos became the centerpiece of Infinity War.
Although Gamora died in that movie, Endgame saw a Gamora from the past entering the present timeline, and going on the run. The upcoming third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy will see the rest of Gamora's team tracking her down across the universe with the help of Thor. Gunn will once again be taking on the role of director, in what the filmmaker has hinted will be his final movie within the MCU.
While Seyfried's decision to pass on the role of Gamora does not in hindsight make sense, the actress has nevertheless managed to do quite well for herself. Her latest role as Marion Davies in David Fincher's Netflix movie Mank has already started generating Oscar buzz. Seyfried continues to be a talent to watch out for in Hollywood, and fans may yet see her take on a role in the MCU, possibly as Susan Storm of the Fantastic Four, or Jean Grey from the X-Men. This news comes from THR's Awards Chatter podcast.