Guardians Of The Galaxy director on making both a “James Gunn” and a “Marvel” movie.
James Gunn had just popped a mint into his mouth moments before I sat down for an interview with the director. “Who knew chewing Mentos could take such a long time?” Gunn said politely, perhaps feeling apologetic for stalling the schedule.
Gunn proceeded to ask where I was from, and upon discovering I was from Malaysia, he spoke about his love for Malaysian indie band Couple with genuine excitement.
If there is any air that may come from a director who is helming a movie with a RM538mil price tag, that exchange, though brief, proved he was just a normal, down-to-Earth guy ... who enjoyed his Mentos!
“I’m very picky with who I choose as actors and I hate working with people that are not nice. Life is too short to hire actors who are difficult or are working against you,” he said.
The director got his start in films working at the independent studio Troma Entertainment where he learned the filmmaking process from scratch.
“I wrote the screenplay, I did the casting, I went out on my own and found locations, I learned how to direct actors, all the way through designing the posters and putting them up in theatres. I learned how to do every single part of the filmmaking process,” he said, recalling the experience of making his first project, Tromeo And Juliet.
Gunn, 43, started making a name for himself with the 2006 humour-horror flick Slither and the 2010 superhero comedy-drama Super – attracting viewers with his twisted sense of humour. But the director insists his eccentricity and sense of self was never compromised in the process of working on Guardians Of The Galaxy (which hits cinemas this Thursday) with major film house, Marvel Studios.
“My goal was to make a movie that was 100% Marvel and 100% James Gunn. I think most Marvel directors in the past have felt like they were making a Marvel movie at the end of the day. I have been fortunate that I never felt like that,” he shared, crediting it to a good creative relationship with the film’s producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. A sequel to Guardians Of The Galaxy has just been announced for July 2017.
Watch our exclusive interview with Gunn in which he talks about the film’s unlikely superheroes, bringing to life the comic book characters and giving former People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” Bradley Cooper a voice acting part during the movie’s South-East Asia press tour in Singapore recently.