Marvel's history of selecting off-kilter talent for enormously expensive blockbuster superhero movies continues today, with former Tromeo & Juliet writer James Gunn officially confirmed as the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn was the rumored frontrunner for the sci-fi superhero team adaptation, and reportedly edged out competitors Peyton Reed (Bring It On) and Ryan Fleck & Anna Bowden (Half-Nelson) for the coveted gig.
"For a month or so there’s been a lot of Internet speculation about my involvement with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Until now I haven’t said anything, because I’m trying to be less expulsive about this project than I am about the rest of my life. But last night I got the go-ahead from Kevin Feige to let you all know that, yes, indeed, I am rewriting and directing Guardians of the Galaxy. Asa lifelong lover of Marvel comics, space epics, AND raccoons, this is the movie I’ve been waiting to make since I was nine years old. Kevin, Joss, and all the folks at Marvel have been amazing collaborators so far, and we’re committed to bringing you something majestic, beautiful, and unique. I am incredibly excited. I am also incredibly grateful to the fans and the press for all their words of encouragement and support regarding my involvement with this project since the news first leaked. Thanks – you have, honestly, touched and overwhelmed me. And that’s it for now. Other than the occasional photos of my dog and cat here on Facebook, I’ll talk to you again in August 2014 when Guardians is released!"
It's the biggest production yet for Gunn, who began his career as a screenwriter for the cult independent production company Troma and gradually became a go-to screenwriter for genre entertainment like Scooby Doo before ultimately writing and directing his first feature, the acclaimed but financially unsuccessful Slither, a gross-out horror comedy starring Nathan Fillion. Along the way he wrote the screenplays for the independent superhero films The Specials and Super, the latter of which Gunn directed himself (and which wound up ranking #3 on CraveOnline's list of The Top Ten Films of 2011).
CraveOnline will be back with more Guardians of the Galaxy news, because that's how we do it in the Raccooniverse.