Guardians of the Galaxy director and co-writer James Gunn is known for his interaction with fans, and he's already spent plenty of time in interviews and on social media answering fan questions about the minutiae of the film and where the Guardians story is going next. This week, though, Gunn took that sense of sharing to new heights with a live commentary and Q&A on the film hosted on his Facebook page.
On Thursday night, Gunn invited fans to all begin playing Guardians at home simultaneously, commented on the film as it played, then stuck around to answer fan questions about everything from the film's hugely popular soundtrack to character motivations to death scenes that didn't make the final cut. You can read the entire exhange at the Facebook link above, but here are some of the highlights.
Yondu wasn't originally going to survive the film.
When last we see whistling, fan-favorite Ravager Yondu (Michael Rooker) in the film, he's laughing after the discovery that he's been duped by Star-Lord, who gave him a Wishing Troll doll instead of the dangerous Infinity Stone he thought he was getting. In Gunn's original script, though, the orb Star-Lord gave Yondu was supposed to contain something much deadlier.
"In the original script (that I wrote) Rocket had a little bomb in this scene. At the end Quill put it in the Orb when he gave it to Yondu. And, as Yondu flew away at the very end, his whole ship exploded!! A lot of people were really upset when I took that out of the script, but I had a feeling that people would like Yondu too much for that."
On fighting to keep Thanos in the film.
Though it has often been assumed that including the Mad Titan in Guardians was a Marvel Studios edict, Gunn reveals that he was actually the one who lobbied for the character's inclusion, and that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige wasn't entirely sure about it. He also explains why Thanos presented the biggest writing challenge of the film.
"This Thanos scene was hard. People read an interview with me saying Thanos talking about how difficult he was to put in the movie. They seemed to take it to mean that I didn't want him in the movie and Marvel did. But I CHOSE to have him in the film. Kevin at one point wanted to take him out. But I didn't want to lose the connection to the Avengers since more people would see the movie. I also like Thanos. But he was difficult because he made the relationships to the other characters so difficult and more complicated - and he served future stories more than this one."
On that infamous "whore" line.
Gunn's taken a lot of flack, even from devoted fans, for the scene onboard the Dark Aster in which Drax casually calls Gamora a "green whore." It's seemed to many like an unnecessary insult, and an odd one given Drax's tendency to take everything literally. Gunn explains his reasoning:
"I know some of you don't like Drax calling Gamora a whore. But he heard people saying that to her in the Kyln. So don't blame him, blame me... Because that's what they called her in the Kyln and that's what he thinks she is."
On Adam Warlock.
Gunn has previously mentioned, quite casually, that The Collector's museum on Knowhere contains the cocoon of Adam Warlock, a character of great importance to the cosmic Marvel event known as The Infinity Gauntlet. Since we know that we're building to an Infinity story, it seemed like an Easter egg that could set up a future appearance of the character. Unfortunately, Gunn walks back that claim during the Q&A, for reasons we're not entirely sure of.
"It's not Adam's cocoon."
On what happened to Nebula.
If you watch Guardians carefully, it's quite clear that Nebula (Karen Gillan) doesn't die at the end of the film, but some viewers haven't quite pieced it together. Gunn lays out exactly what happened to the character here:
"Sometimes people are confused what happens to Nebula. She looks down for something to fall on, allows herself to fall on a Ravager craft, and takes out the Goth Ravager inside and flies away, leaving everyone to deal with this s#*t themselves, because she's stopped caring. She will be back."
On the dance-off.
Gunn noted during his commentary that people are always complimenting the dance-off scene as a kind of bold story move, but for him, it was just a matter of necessity.
"People always tell me the dance off moment is the ballsiest moment in the movie. But I just needed a way for him to distract him while Rocket finished fixing the weapon."
On the song he was encouraged to cut.
Gunn used a lot of well-known pop hits in his "Awesome Mix" soundtrack, but noted that one in particular wasn't always welcomed, because it's been used so often in other films.
"I got a lot of pressure not to use Ain't No Mountain, because it's been used a lot. But it's hard to find a song that's a love song that works as a message from a dead mother to her son. It's just perfect."
On his favorite moment in the film.
Guardians is packed with memorable moments, but Gunn does seem to have a definitive favorite.
"Drax petting Rocket is my very favorite moment in the movie and I cry every time I see it. I'm even getting teary now."
On what's next.
We already know Gunn's hard at work on Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but will he stick around for more? Well, he's got some ideas...
"I knew what gotg2 was essentially going to be about halfway through shooting. I basically have plans for three other stories connected to Guardians if I stay with marvel that long."
For more, head over to Facebook.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 lands in theaters May 5, 2017.