For director James Gunn, a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy is what the blockbuster world needs.
Gunn, along with his cast and producer Kevin Feige, has been making the press rounds very heavily lately to promote the latest Marvel Studios big-screen adventure, and he's had to face questions regarding whether moviegoers are ready for this particular flick. It's something we've been wondering ever since the film was announced. Moviegoers bought in to Iron Man and Captain America and Thor just fine, but will they also buy in to a cosmic adventure featuring, among other things, a talking raccoon, a tree creature that can only say three words and a weird guy who collects aliens and sticks them in glass cases?
In the promotional materials for the film, Marvel's made it very clear that Guardians doesn't take itself too seriously, playing up its comedic elements and its sense of adventure, and at the movie's U.K. premiere, Gunn said that sense of lightness and character-driven heart is exactly why the film will find its place in the hearts of viewers. This isn't another dark, gritty blockbuster. This is a film that has fun and looks good doing it.
"I think it is the right time for this movie in general. I think that there are so many movies out there that are so brooding and so dark and sometimes it gets to be this layer of darkness over a movie to make up for the fact that there is no character, there is no story," Gunn told Bleeding Cool. "Other movies out there, it is an endless string of explosions and action sequences with no character or love in between and this is a movie that is first and foremost about the characters, it is about their relationships. It should work if it was an independent movie but we just added space battles and all the other stuff, and I think that is what people are reacting too. The heart we put into it."
It's interesting that Gunn got the "no story" dig in when talking about dark movies full of explosions. The last two films Marvel Studios released -- Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier -- actually skewed a bit darker than their predecessors, but we can assume Gunn was taking a shot at his studio mates. He's right, though. There are a lot of movies that use darkness and a "grounded" feel as a crutch, and Guardians is looking not only to be an antidote to films like that, but to prove that strong character moments can hook a blockbuster audience just as much as big spaceships.
As if to prove Gunn's point, a new clip from the film just hit the web, featuring Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana). In the clip, Gamora takes a stone-faced stand against dancing, and Quill tries to change her mind by regaling her with a great legend of an American hero. We've gotten a lot of laughs out of the Guardians clips that have already been released, and this one adds a few more. Check it out:
Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on Friday.