*Disney/Marvel provided us an all expense paid trip to visit the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in Atlanta. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*
So I got to sit down the most amazing director, James Gunn. I can’t believe that actually happened! In the Marvel movies, he is one of the most astounding screenwriter, director, and producer. He brings his enormous talents to make the movies so wonderful. He is now back directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It was an absolute pleasure to have the chance to interview him!
My Interview with James Gunn:
He started out telling us that he was quite busy on the day we interviewed him as they were running two different sets at the same time.
Question 1: When did you come up with the sequel idea?
He told us he knew Peter Quill’s relationship to his fathers and this was written even before the first movie was written. He knew where the story was going, as well as, Yondu’s relationship with his father. He started physically writing his thoughts on the day the first movie came out.
“So it was like I was at a loss for, what I’m gonna do is sit around and wait to see how much money we make or whatever. I gotta do something to distract myself and I found like the healthiest thing to do was just to get back in part of the process that I had some control over, which was processing my own work as opposed to being concerned with what the results were.”
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, we are introduced to a new character played by Kurt Russell.
Question 2: Having Kurt is a gift. Did you already have that planned?
He told us he did not. It was brought up to him but no one took it seriously. When the editor, Fred Raskin brought it up, he began to take it seriously.
“He really liked him as an actor and if an editor likes an actor, you know that the actor is good. Because there’s a lot of actors that cut together very well because you have to piece together their good performances and it’s actually difficult. And then people go and say, oh this person’s great. But it takes a lot of work to get there. But the fact that Fred liked him so much meant he was strong a lot, which was great.”
Question 3: Why is music such an important character in this story?
He told us music is really the character of Peter Quill’s mom which introduces the relationship of theirs through music. Music is also a big part of his life.
“And that relationship is very much kept alive in this second movie. His relationship with his mother as well as his relationship with his father and what that is exactly. And that’s told through music.”
“I think in the first movie, there’s another practical reason which is that people were going into this movie, different planets, different worlds, different characters from other planets, and the music was a way we kept everybody grounded in something that was attached to earth, something that was familiar in the midst of all this unfamiliar stuff. Something that was an emotional tether, basically, to earth.”
Question 4: Do you play any instruments?
He told us he sang in bands growing up.
Question 5: What sort of message are you hoping families walk away with after watching the film?
“I don’t think so much about what’s the message of the movie, so much as what’s the affect it has on people? And for me, and the reason I make movies, is that when I was a kid and I saw a great movie with my family and it made me love people more when I walked out of the theater than when I walked in. So if there’s anything that this movie can do it’s that. I think it’s a really, truly emotional film. I think the first one was emotional, and I think we take this one to a much deeper level of the emotion.”
“That’s a big part of it. But I also think it’s a lot about The Guardians as a group of outcasts. They’re all creatures or people who don’t belong in society anywhere but with each other. And one of the very moving things to me from the first movie is just getting messages from all the people who can relate to the charactres. A lot of people relate to Drax and to Groot. A lot of young children really relate to Groot. There’s been a lot of people with autism who relate a lot to Drax because he has a very different way of perceiving the world and metaphors. I can’t tell you countless people that have written me, thanked me for that. I think the story is a story about kids, families that are not traditional.”
Question 6: When we last talked to you, Rocket was your favorite character. Is he still?
He told us yes he still is. He also loves Baby Groot. Baby Groot’s gonna steal the whole movie.
“ And he’s not even there. And I can tell you on the first movie, we were barely aware of Groot. He wasn’t that present on set. I mean my brother, Sean, played Rocket. So he was always there and everybody knew Rocket as a real character. But Groot wasn’t there, and then we kind of start putting the movie together and creating Groot in post, and it was like, oh wow, the character really fills out once we started to create him. But they would just forget about him. It happens in the first movie because a couple times Groot’s like, what about me? I’m over here. I want my share of things. And that’s really what we were treating him like. So I love Baby Groot.”
“But Rocket’s the one. I just relate so deeply to Rocket. I think something that we succeeded a lot at in this film is each character has their own story. I think that’s been more true for the other non-star lord characters in this movie than in the first movie. And I would say especially for Gamora and Rocket. They have their very specific stories that are about them.”
“The first story was about becoming a family, and this one’s about being a family. And so it makes a big difference. But I think that, in this one it’s really about Rocket. You get that first flush of accepting friendship and love which he had in the first movie. And this movie is about being able to continue some form of intimacy, which is much, much harder for him to accept that because of where he came from.”
“And through that I think he forms a pretty tight bond with Yondu, who has a similar background because Yondu’s an older guy who never loves. Never accepted people that loved him. Never accepted any of that. And to be able to have Rocket. It’s not so much about him learning to love other people, it’s about him learning to accept the love and affection of other creatures. I love him as much as ever.”
He told us he loves them and in the movie, Drax steals the movie. He told us he is really funny in it.
“One of the great things about coming back to a second movie is you get to know the actors who play the roles. And all of these actors and their roles are all tailor fit to them. Bautista had the least experience of everybody on the first movie. So he’s grown the most. He’s gotten the best from anyone in the first movie. And the character is more tailored to him. So it’s really been great.”
WE WERE ON SET:
At the end of interviewing him, we got to see an actual scene getting filmed. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible this was seeing them in full character filming the scene. During the Super Bowl commercial of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, we saw an actual clip, in the preview, of what we saw that day.
We had about 45 minutes to watch them scene a small tidbit of the movie. During this time, we saw Drax being drawn up via wires (that I talked about in an earlier post). We will have to see what happens with that when we see the movie on May 5th.
During the set performance, they all had stunt doubles and the stunt doubles went in the place of the actors, until their scene was actually ready to film. The actors had a lot of time during takes and they were all talking to each other. They were having a ball. It was INCREDIBLE TO SEE!!! I can’t wait to find that scene in the movie!
SEE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 on MAY 5th, 2017!