Though film fans everywhere let out a sigh of relief when it was recently announced that Joss Whedon would be returning to write and direct The Avengers 2, a big question mark on Marvel’s upcoming slate remained. Thor: The Dark World and Captain American: The Winter Soldier already have directors attached and are well on their way to production, but Guardians of the Galaxy—the studio’s sole original property on the Phase Two slate—was still without a director.
We recently learned that screenwriter Chris McCoy had been hired to rewrite the existing script by Nicole Perlman, and now comes word that Marvel has finally closed in on their director to bring the space-set superhero story to the big screen: James Gunn. Hit the jump for more.
Per Heat Vision, Marvel’s number one choice to direct Guardians of the Galaxy is Super and Slither director James Gunn. This is both a shocking and wildly exciting choice. Gunn has zero experience directing big budget fare (he did write the scripts for the Scooby-Doo films and Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead), but he’s proved to be excellent at blending elements of humor, horror, and drama with his previous directorial features.
THR notes that Marvel is currently exclusively talking with Gunn, but they haven’t ruled out other directors that are also in the running. Those choices include Peyton Reed (Yes Man, Bring It On) and the directing duo Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson, It’s Kind of a Funny Story). It’s certainly clear that Marvel is looking for someone with both comedic and dramatic experience to bring Guardians of the Galaxy, with little worry about the director’s familiarity with action sequences. As Whedon recently signed a deal to stay with Marvel through 2015 and creatively consult on the studio’s other properties in addition to his Avengers 2 duties, I can’t help but think he had some input regarding these Guardians directors.
Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be one hell of a feature film to pull off—possibly the most difficult in Marvel Studios’ history. The cast of characters in the film include Drax The Destroyer, a human resurrected as a warrior with the sole purpose of killing Thanos (that smiling baddie at the end of The Avengers), Star-Lord, a half-human/half-alien “intergalactic vigilante”, Groot, a giant tree (he’s essentially an Ent), Gamora, the last survivor of her species who is saved by Thanos to be his assassin but who now battles him, and of course there’s the talking Rocket Raccoon.
It’s worth noting that, should Gunn sign on to helm Guardians of the Galaxy, there will be two key Marvel directors who have a close working relationship with Nathan Fillion. So, Fillion fanboys, address your letters/pleas accordingly and cross those fingers.