James Gunn Says Guardians of the Galaxy Not Guaranteed to Be in Infinity War, More


First, the bad news: the snazzy-looking 8-Bit style game James Gunn recently revealed in a video on his Facebook page will NOT be playable. Nor will a Baby Groot version of Dance Dance Revolution from the same Blu-ray featurette. He wants them just as much as we do – but they’re intended as amusing animations only. Likewise, we probably shouldn’t read to much into a cameo by Beta Ray Bill in the former.

Gunn took questions and showed off some Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-ray features this morning on the Disney lot. Here’s what we learned:

-He worked out very detailed backstories for all the alien races you see, especially the pink-skinned Krylorians.

-The three circles on the Nova Corps armor represent the three suns of Xandar, whose orbits they worked out. (This may be common knowledge; I did not know it.) One of the deleted scenes involves one of the three lights going out on John C. Reilly’s uniform; he and his superior keep tapping it to try to get it back on again. Funny bit, but it was obvious why it was cut – it’s overly shticky and goes on at the expense of the main story.

-The Kyln prison was a fully built set for the first three levels, out of steel; everything above that height was digital augmentation.

-Despite all those cute videos Vin Diesel made on stilts, Groot on set was mostly played by a Polish mime named Christian, who without CG looks like a guy in a blue stocking wearing a Groot hat. Rocket was played on set by two people – Sean Gunn, who did a crouching crab-walk to become Rocket’s actual height (this is hilarious to see on set) and a little person named Artie, who still was taller than Rocket, so she wore a Rocket mask on her chest to create the right eyeline.

-Gunn says it’s far easier to CG space battles than aliens just walking and talking, especially if they’re not walking in a perfectly straight line.

-He was inspired a lot by the Celestials comics – you see some of those characters when the Collector explains the Infinity Gems. The Collector is described as being like Noah: he believes a great catastrophe is coming and wants to preserve an ark of the universe’s best specimens. Among his items are a Frost Giant, a Dark Elf, a Chitauri soldier and the slugs from Slither. Although Gunn chose to put Adam Warlock’s cocoon in there, he had to do a little backtracking for continuity’s sake, and specified that it’s “a cocoon that’s exactly like Adam Warlock’s cocoon.”

-Gunn himself did some of the motion-capture for Groot, whom he describes as being as much like a soft plant as he is a tree. For the disc’s gag reel, they have CG’ed Rocket and Groot into at least one blooper.

-Another deleted scene involves more between Gamora and Nebula when we first see them together. Nebula brags, “The screams of my victims fill every field,” to which Gamora responds, “That’s because you take too long to kill them.” Later, we see Gamora massacre her escorts, after saying “It’s a shame about the casualties we’re about to incur.” These and some other scenes were deleted for pacing and time – Gunn felt they were spending too long on the Dark Aster.

-Additional deleted scenes: an extended version of Rocket’s “fake laugh” scene, and another moment between Groot and Rocket where Rocket is trying to describe their plan but Groot keeps getting distracted by a bee; more with the Kyln guard who steals the walkman, as he dances through the prison.

Avengers: Age of Ultron sneak peek has almost nothing you haven’t already seen. The Hulkbuster sequence was the first one they shot, and it was in South Africa? Okay, got it.

-Gunn says his wildest expectations are to beat James Cameron at the box office. As far as Guardians 2, he came to Kevin Feige with his ideas and Feige simply said yes. There is no pressure to interact with any other Marvel movies, and when Gunn, who had mentioned earlier that he sometimes gets quoted out of context, was asked flat out if the Guardians had to be in Avengers: Infinity War, he just said “No.” Though he did add that he had planned out enough of the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe for more movies than just the Guardians sequel…and that the Guardians aren’t necessarily the characters there that he’s most interested in.

-He doesn’t think the Guardians are “weird” – hears all the time about 80 year-old grandmothers who liked the movie. He feels they’re more accessible, as a “much more flawed group than the Avengers.” Says they don’t take a backseat to other movies, while Thor and Captain America movies arguably take a backseat to Avengers films.

-Changes to Peter Quill’s origin were to get away from things he felt were “too Star Wars“; he always hated the name J’son. He still gets teary-eyed seeing Drax pet Rocket’s head.

-Gunn’s very first treatment had a picture of the Sony Walkman at the top, and Kevin Feige loved it. Nearly all the songs were written in the script, and he got every one he wanted.

-The original post-credits easter egg was to be Baby Groot, but they decided that worked better as the final full scene. So in coming up with another, they already had footage of the Collector reacting to something, and wondered what it could be. Idea of Howard the Duck made them all laugh, so that was it.

-Lloyd Kaufman is “the Hiroshima of actors,” but “He’s getting better.”

-The Footloose stuff was Chris Pratt’s idea, but was scripted and not improv. The “Jackson Pollock” joke about semen was an improvised Gunn bit, which nobody on the crew thought would be allowed in the final film.

We ended with some pretty cool Day of the Dead style pictures of Star Lord and Gamora, by artist Orlando Arocena.