Filmmaker James Gunn is no stranger to strange superheroes.
He wrote 2000’s comic book satire The Specials, starring Rob Lowe, Thomas Haden Church, and Paget Brewster, about the “sixth or seventh” most popular squad of super-powered crimefighters, and later returned to the genre as writer and director of 2010’s Super, starring Rainn Wilson as a crimson-costumed vigilante and Ellen Page as his hyper-violent sidekick.
After those send-ups, Marvel Studios is in talks with him to take on the screen version of their comic book franchise Guardians of the Galaxy.
Fans of Gunn’s twisted sense of humor can appreciate what he may bring to the oddball team of space good-guys, which the studio is aiming to have in theaters on Aug. 1, 2014. (Chris McCoy is currently working on a draft of the screenplay.)
Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news, and sources confirm to EW that Gunn is in talks to direct the project, though nothing is settled just yet. There have been various incarnations of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comic book pages over the years, and at Comic-Con last month Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed which characters would be a part of this film. (They’re listed from left to right in the photo above.)
Drax The Destroyer – An Earthling who was killed and resurrected as a knife-wielding green warrior devoted to battling Thanos (the alien death-dealer seen grinning at the end of the Avengers film.)
Groot – a giant, anthropomorphic tree-being (imagine a warrior version of the Ents from The Lord of the Rings.)
Star-Lord – Some people would call him a space cowboy. (Sorry, Steve Miller Band.) He’s a half-human, half-alien intergalactic sheriff whose special combat suit protects him in deep space as he draws his twin guns on evildoers.
Rocket Racoon – a genetically engineered critter from a planet used as a dumping ground for the insane. He may be small, but he carries a very big gun.
Gamora – Nicknamed “the most dangerous woman in the universe, she last of her alien species, adopted by Thanos (him again) and trained to be a weapon who does his dirty work.
What else do you need to know about Gunn?
He’s a longtime friend of Joss Whedon – and says one of his first jobs was writing a TV pilot for the eventual writer-director of The Avengers. (No doubt, Whedon – who recently signed a massive new sequel deal with Marvel – was a good resume reference for Gunn.)
Gunn cut his teeth writing schlock horror comedies such as Tromeo and Juliet for the Toxic Avenger indie distributor Troma Studios, and later wrote both 2002’s live-action Scooby-Doo movie and its 2004 sequel. He also wrote the screenplay for Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, and also wrote and directed 2006’s alien-slug horror comedy Slither.
He authored the 2000 novel The Toy Collector, about a drug thief fueling a classic-toy addiction, and also wrote the recent hot-girl-vs-monsters video game Lollipop Chainsaw.
Gun also is the brain behind the twisted PG Porn, which you should just see for yourself to understand.
He’s also pals with Nathan Fillion, who starred in Slither and had a supporting role in Super (and a part in one of the PG Porn shorts as a construction worker). So those who would like to see Fillion play, say, Star-Lord … you now have an in.
For more film news
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Disney Animation teams up with Marvel for ‘Big Hero 6’
A gunslinging raccoon? Marvel moving forward on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’