James Gunn Talks Groot, Rocket, Thanos

Following on from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trailer reveal last week, the film’s director James Gunn has talked some more about that wacky Marvel sci-fi feature hitting in August.

Specifically he touched upon the two CG characters starting with Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon. He tells Pointless Podcast:

“Rocket is a result of countless and cruel, illegal genetic experiments, where he’s been turned–from an innocent little creature, where he has an IQ of three, and he becomes this thing that’s completely alone; this gnarled little beast… he’s pretty sad.”

There’s also the walking tree Groot who can only say one line and is voiced by Vin Diesel. Talking about Diesel’s performance, Gunn says:

“All of the ‘I am Groots’ that were earlier voices didn’t sound very good at all, they sounded like sh#t. It just didn’t work. Then Vin Diesel came in and, in one day, lied down all these ‘I am Groot’ tracks, and he’s a perfectionist. He made me explain to him exactly what (Groot) was saying (before each delivery).”

Another topic is Thanos, the cosmic villain glimpsed in the mid-credits in “The Avengers”. ‘Guardians’ includes several links to the character from his daughter Nebula (Karen Gillan) to The Collector (Benicio del Toro) who is collecting the various stones of the Infinity Gauntlet. Asked about adapting the ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ limited series from the comics, Gunn tells Pointless Podcast:

“Here’s the thing, truthfully the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes out of both the 616 and Ultimate Marvel Comics universe, and then they recreate some elements themselves. What Thanos wants in the comics is not necessarily what Thanos wants in the movies; we don’t know yet.”

Finally, Gunn says filming on the movie was much more pleasant than his previous films “Slither” and “Super” as they had enough time to do some great shots of which he’s proud:

“There’s one shot that I’m thinking of; the characters are imprisoned early on in the movie and there’s this overhead shot of Peter Quill and he’s sleeping on the floor in what we call the Locked Up Abroad shot.

It’s Quill surrounded on the floor with all these different aliens, disgusting, they’re all sleeping, packed together like sardines. It was just a really beautiful shot and we have it overhead completely with the camera slightly revolving as he’s sitting there wide awake and all these gross aliens are asleep around him.

I was able to take time and compose the shot in the same way you would design a painting, and changing little guys. It wasn’t like it took an extraordinary time to do it, but we took some time at doing and that was something that I’d had really never been able to do in my entire career.”