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Ready for Blastoff

According to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, sometimes you need a Z-lister to make a proper Hollywood space epic

Author Justin Goldman


Guardians of the Galaxy is one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters, but according to writer/director James Gunn, the cast and crew—including stars Chris Pratt (above) and Zoe Saldana—didn’t necessarily feel like Hollywood A-listers.

“We felt like the Guardians, frankly,” Gunn says, referring to the film’s band of intergalactic misfits (including a genetically modified raccoon), who come together to protect a mysterious stolen orb from a powerful villain. “Me and Chris were not the guys that people thought of making this blockbuster film. We’re the Z-grade Hollywood folks that were put together to create this thing, and we felt very close because of that.”

Pratt, of course, is best known for his bumbling character on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”—hardly the action-hero type—and Gunn’s résumé includes classic horror reboots (Dawn of the Dead), superhero spoofs (Super) and gruesome comedies (Slither), but nary a big-budget flick.

Still, Gunn, who calls himself an “odd kid” from Missouri, insists he was the perfect choice to helm the latest Marvel comic-book adaptation. “This sounds like a joke,” he says, “but it’s true: I have a lifelong love of Marvel comics, space epics and raccoons. So I don’t know who else really could be better suited for this film.” — (August 1)

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