Here's why James Gunn originally didn't want to direct Guardians of the Galaxy (and the character who changed his mind)

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing. James Gunn probably wakes up every day pinching himself that he gets to be a part of a franchise as fun-filled and frenetic as Guardians of the Galaxy but, as the director revealed, he was not on board with bringing Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen at first.

During a panel at E3 2017, Gunn provided a laundry list of reasons as to why, when he was first approached to direct, he didn’t want to helm the franchise. "I know, for me, when I first was pitched Guardians of the Galaxy, it was something that I frankly [during] my first hearing of it, I thought it was not a good idea," Gunn said.

"I thought it was a talking raccoon, with these strange characters, I thought it was too weird. I thought it sounded to me, like when they first pitched it to me, as if it was Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers - and I didn't think it was something that was going to work."

So, what changed Gunn’s mind? As can be expected, it was that pesky talking racoon that burrowed deep down into Gunn’s creative mind – and from there the hooks were sunk in and wouldn’t let go: “As I was driving home, I thought, 'OK, well, let's just take a moment to think about this.' If there was such a thing as a talking raccoon, what would it be? How could it come to be?... And I actually found the answers to these questions were these incredibly sad answers... To me, that was the foundation of the entire Guardians of the Galaxy Guardians-verse.

The moral of the story? Talking animals are money. And James Gunn must be counting his lucky stars that he didn’t say no.

Image: Marvel

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.