James Gunn on 'Guardians 2,' Doing Television, and the Show That Caused Him to Fall into Deep Depression
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn may just have worked his way to the top of my favorite directors list, but it’s not because of a film. It’s because finally, finally, finally, someone captured my feelings about a certain television show. But we’ll get back to that in a minute.
In a new interview with The Playlist, Gunn —who recently presided over the Tokyo International Film Festival jury — amazingly agreed to reveal the entire Guardians 2 plot. The director says he’s known where the story for 2 was going since he was working on the first film; he’ll just continue writing the script upon his return to the United States.
“”I spent all day on August 1, the day the first movie was released, writing Guardians 2…I was so excited about it and I was finally able to let go of the last one and begin the second one. I always saw this as a universe, not just as one story.”(Variety)
Oh, and the plot?
“We open up on a Mission: Impossible scenario where all the characters die… So, it’s gonna answer a lot of questions that are proposed in the first one, and we’ll be able to get to know some of the characters we didn’t get to know in the first one a little bit more, and we might meet a few new characters too.”
On the fun of doing a big budget film after having learned on, and worked out how to use creative “cheats” to get around budgetary and other limitations:
“I very much knew that there were certain things about ‘Guardians’ that needed to stay the Marvel way, but then figuring out a way around them to do my own thing was I think part of what made me have so much fun with the movie…And even on Guardians, there was a lot of budgetary constraints.
I will say that on my first day shooting Guardians, I was like, “really? THIS is what you do?” You wait, and you set up the shot and then I get to come back and… sit down. And have a cup of coffee and talk to my friend. And then I go back and do a bit more work. It’s not like ‘arrrrggghhhh’ the whole time. The difference is it went on for 85 days. So the marathon aspect of it is very important. But there are some things about it that are definitely more pleasant than making low budget films.”
Though Gunn says he doesn’t think he could be a showrunner — “commitment issues” — he might go for a limited series like True Detective, which the director liked.
“A lot of people didn’t like the last episode, I loved it. But I do have a lot of hardcore atheist friends who react badly whenever there’s even a hint of mysticism.”
And now, the gold. After explaining that the True Detective finale “worked” for him, Gunn went on to describe another television show finale:
“Whereas something like the last episode of Lost was like a nightmare for me, a real living nightmare. No word of a lie —I fell into a deep depression after that last episode, because I believed in that show with a religious fervor. I feel so betrayed by that ending, so betrayed to this day, so hurt. I believed in that show probably more than I believed in any artwork of my adult life and God, the betrayal.
…it made me realize that for sure I did not ever, ever want to do that to my audience.”
BRAIN TWIN. Go ahead, tell me to get over it. I probably never will, but at least I won’t feel alone anymore. Me…and James Gunn. Not bad company.
Read the full interview.
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