The thing about James Gunn and the Guardians of the Galaxy in the MCU is – the movies have a soul. They’re unlike any other MCU project because you can feel how tightly knit they are together. It’s a group of family and friends, and their chemistry on-screen translates off-screen as well.
That’s actually what James Gunn himself had confirmed in an emotional interview with Empire, talking about his last hoorah in Marvel and Disney and the final Guardians of the Galaxy movie we’ll get – at least with this cast and crew.
Gunn also opened up about his firing and rehiring by Marvel/Disney, how it affected his life, and how important it was for him to have his GotG friends by his side.
‘They pulled me onto the life raft.’
The entire journey that led us to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been a hell of a ride. The last GotG stand-alone movie came out in 2017, and in the six years separating Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, a lot has happened. But, the team prevailed, and what we’re getting now will be a rollercoaster of emotion, says Gunn:
“This third movie is much, much more emotional. We have this other story of this group of people who made each other’s careers at the same time. We grew up together in that respect. None of us were big stars when it started out. Zoë [Saldaña] was the biggest.”
For the first time since it happened, James completely opened up about the time when Marvel/Disney fired him due to a crude, decades-old Tweet with a bit of tasteless but innocent humor. That’s when the fans and the entire Guardians of the Galaxy team came to his aid and stood by his side until he was rehired.
“We went through this journey where we went into the belly of the beast, and I was thrown out – and the people that I gave life to by hiring, saved me and brought me back into the fold. They pulled me onto the life raft. And now we’re able to finish all of this together.”
Gunn expressed how difficult it was for him to get over the fact that he’d been let go despite the huge success that his Guardians were. Thankfully, they thought the same and never left James’ side.
“It was hard. But the things I think of from that time are the love that I got from my family and friends. I think of how Zoë Saldaña and her husband came over to fix me a meal the night after it happened. How Karen Gillan [Nebula] and Pom Klementieff [Mantis] came over to just hang out with me, to be my friend.”
So, perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be an emotional story, but this other story behind the scenes is just as emotional for everyone involved. The story of love, friendship, and growth. The story of people who, as James expressed, grew together and stayed together, even when times got tough.
James Gunn’s final project within the MCU is coming out on May 5, 2023, before he ventures into the DCU, where he was hired as the president of all operations.