James Gunn and Chris Pratt are less than a year away from bringing their work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to the big screen, completing one of the most unexpectedly successful trilogies in movie history. The threequel recently celebrated its last day of filming ahead of its May 5, 2023 release date as the Guardians look to make their mark on the fandom once again.
To say that nobody saw this team's success coming could be construed as a massive understatement, as only die-hard Marvel Comics fans even knew who the Guardians were before their 2014 on-screen debut. The recipe was an odd one, to say the least - an unknown director, Andy from Parks & Recreation as the leading character, and its two biggest stars only in the movie as voiceover roles all joining the up and coming Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It's safe to say that most projections for Guardians of the Galaxy were fairly modest in 2014, especially going up against Phase 2 sequels like Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now, as the third movie in its trilogy preps for its own theatrical run, director James Gunn looked back on this improbable journey with a specific focus on those naysayers.
Gunn and Pratt's Wild Run with Guardians
Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy director James Gunn took to Twitter to reflect on the naysayers and doubters that he and his cast faced ahead of the release of their first movie within the MCU.
Responding to a fan who looked back on how many people asked whether fans needed the first Guardians movie, Gunn noted how often he and the team were bombarded with those kinds of questions. He even included a specific article from February 2014 stating that Guardians of the Galaxy would be a flop:
"And the cast & crew & I were constantly barraged by articles like this (Guardians went on to make more money than the initial films of all the other characters’.)"
Gunn knew of the article thanks to Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt, who included it as part of a list of headlines like that one as part of a speech he gave on the final day of shooting for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3:
"I knew of this article because Chris Pratt gave a beautiful speech on the last day of shooting Vol 3 where he listed off a minute’s worth of headlines & quotes like this."
Gunn also responded to another fan praising Gunn for taking "D-lister" characters like Star-Lord and DC's Peacemaker, noting how the post was "about the characters" themselves instead of Pratt and Peacemaker's John Cena:
For those of you yelling about John not being a D-lister, the original poster is talking about the characters, not the actors.
While thanking another fan for praise regarding his work on those characters, he also made sure that nobody was "undervaluing" some of the lesser-known heroes with comics that have been as successful as those with more recognizable characters:
"Thanks! But you might be undervaluing some of those 'd-list' Marvel characters, whose comics have been selling as many as Superman and WW for twenty years or more (Batman, on the other hand, is, and almost always has been, a comics powerhouse)."
Overcoming Odds with Making Guardians Popular
Eight years after Guardians of the Galaxy made its way into theaters as Marvel Studios' 10th film, the team is a household name and has fans waiting for where they will go in next in the MCU. Gunn and Pratt have pushed forward to prove any and all doubters wrong with their work under the Marvel Studios umbrella, and it's almost a minor miracle to see them achieve such high peaks.
It even seemed to be emotional for Gunn to be reminded of those naysayers as Guardians 3's shoot came to a close, with Pratt taking the sentimental route and reflecting on their journey together. One can only imagine how many other negative headlines he brought back into the spotlight, as they completed their third and possibly biggest solo movie for Star-Lord and his ragtag band of misfits.
Now, the Guardians are set for arguably the biggest year they've ever had as a unit, with three appearances lined up for 2022 alone before their third solo outing next year. The animated Baby Groot will take the spotlight in August's I Am Groot while almost the whole team will shine in live-action during Thor: Love and Thunder and this year's Holiday Special, all before next year take the team to new levels of excitement.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will arrive in theaters on May 5, 2023.