Indiana Jones' Influence
The trailer opens with a scene that's reminiscent of Indiana Jones – does that series have an influence on Guardians? That mixture of action, humour and sheer charm?
Gunn: There is probably no film that influenced me more as a child – no film that excited me more or that I loved more – than Raiders Of The Lost Ark .
It not only influences how I see Guardians , it influences how I live my life (which means the way for a woman to win my heart is to paint “love you” on her eyelids. Yes, I’m still single, why do you ask?).
We meet Rocket, but no dialogue yet - has Bradley Cooper recorded his voiceover, how much work is left to do on it, and how's he sounding? Also, how long did that line-up shot of Rocket take to create / how many people worked on it?
We’ve recorded most of Bradley’s dialogue already. I suppose you would expect me to tell you he’s fantastic and his characterisation of Rocket will blow your mind – so don’t believe me and just wait to see (or hear) it for yourself.
In all truth, we hired Bradley because he’s able to do both comedy and drama – it’s the thing I look for most in the actors on all my films – and to truly sell Rocket – for you to believe a Raccoon can talk (and blow up and shoot tons of stuff) we need a well-rounded actor.
To create the line-up shot for the trailer, 15 people worked on Rocket and 15 people worked on Groot. That’s 30 people. For one shot.
Groot looks a lot friendlier in his introduction than we were expecting, his little dip down movement in his first line up introduction makes him look basically adorable - was that intentional? Is this a character we're going to fall in love with? Tell us about that shot - how long did it take to create? It looks amazing, and does so much in a short amount of time.
I love Groot so much I get teary eyed when I think of him sometimes.
Essentially, all the Guardians start out the movie as bastards - except Groot. He’s an innocent. He’s a hundred percent deadly and a hundred percent sweet. He’s caught up in Rocket’s life, really.
The shot of Groot in the trailer took a few weeks to create, but the development of his look and how he moves took the better part of a year.
Gamora Of The Galaxy
Zoe Saldana looks like a bad-ass in her line-up introduction - was it intimidating working with her once she got into the zone? Also, how long did that make-up take to put on? Is she going to surprise people with this role?
Zoe is about as un-intimidating as you can imagine! She gets in the zone the moment that cameras start filming – but before that she’s basically her loud, brash, completely lovable and goofball self.
She got it easy with the makeup – it only took about four hours to put on, whereas it took Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan six hours or more.
Zoe and Karen are the two most hardass characters in the movie – they’re our Clint Eastwoods. It should take more than a few people by surprise.
Star Lord gives his captors the finger at one point, which made us laugh out loud - it's one of several very funny moments. It's pretty edgy, how far can you push the humour on a film like this?
The "bunch of a-holes" line is still in the trailer, which I love. That was an ad-lib I threw to Peter Serafinowicz on the day we were shooting. He wasn’t sure he wanted to say it – it’s not something British people say – but it works perfectly in the trailer.
The movie has a lot of edgy humour, unusual for a comic book movie. But we were encouraged by Marvel to take risks, so we did.
However, we never wanted the humour to get in the way of the fun or the emotional heart of the film – those things came first.
Star Lord's Walkman
You use 'Hooked On A Feeling' in the trailer, is that song used in the movie? Are there other '70s or '80s songs that you use in the film? Also, what can you tell us about that Walkman and how it's used in the film – is it a running joke?
Yes, 'Hooked On A Feeling' is used in the movie. That and a lot of other old songs are on Quill’s mixed tape in his Sony Walkman.
It’s one of the few things he has from Earth. I don’t think of it as a joke, because it’s very dear to him. It’s the umbilical cord that connects him to earth and the home and family he lost.
There's a quick shot of a prison fight. Can you tell us a bit more about that scene, obviously without too many spoilers.
The Guardians are criminals, essentially – a thief, two thugs, a murderer, and a maniac.
They end up in prison together. When you have those personalities all in one place at one time, you can imagine a scrap or two starting pretty easily.
Star Lord's spaceship
There's a shot of Star Lord flying – can you tell us a bit more about what's happening in that scene? Again, without too many spoilers.
At that point in the film, Star-Lord and the gang are facing off with a fleet of Ronan’s Necrocraft. Someone’s about to go down.
There's some crossover with the Comic-Con trailer, but new stuff too – what are the new shots in this version, and what made you decide to add those shots in?
Well, a lot of shots in the Comic-Con trailer were simply shots from make-up and camera tests before we ever filmed.
I knew I wanted to add some shots of Nebula, as she’s super badass (we only had one make-up test of her in the Comic-Con trailer – and it wasn’t even Karen Gillan).
We also added a shot of Benicio Del Toro as the Collector, who some people saw at the end of Thor 2 .
We hadn’t even shot any Benicio when we did the Comic-Con trailer. We added more nearly–finished shots of Rocket and Groot, and some shots of space battles we didn’t have back then.
And then we added a few cool shots we didn’t have because, well, we thought they looked cool.
It’s important to add that we left out some of our coolest characters – Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser, Michael Rooker’s Yondu, and Glenn Close’s Nova Prime – because we want to save them for the full trailer in a couple months.
Rocket & Groot
What shot are you most proud of in the trailer, and can you tell us a little bit about what you remember about shooting / creating it?
There is no doubt that the cinematic pinnacle of my career is our cameras circling around a maniacal raccoon shooting a machine gun on the back of a living tree.
And I say this with as much modesty as I can muster – because certainly it is not me, but the hand of God guiding us all as we make this film – but it just may be the pinnacle of cinema in general.
When we shot it we were twirling around an empty space in a giant set. But I think all of us could see the raccoon and the tree in our minds. They were already starting to form. I can’t wait to share them with everyone in August.
Guardians Of The Galaxy opens in the UK on 1 August 2014
Want to watch the trailer again? We don't blame you – we've currently got it on a constant loop in the office (only partly so we can dance along to 'Hooked On A Feeling' while pretending to be Groot).
Check out the full trailer below and let us know what you think...
And huge thanks to James Gunn for talking us through the trailer.