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James Gunn Struggling With Guardians of the Galaxy 3's Budget

Guardians of the Galaxy 3, James Gunn
By Richard Nebens

Director James Gunn is currently enjoying an impressive run in the comic book movie landscape thanks to his time with both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. The first three episodes of Peacemaker are now airing after he introduced John Cena's character in 2021's The Suicide Squad, and he's currently working on various entries for the MCU's Phase 4, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

While the film isn't set to release in theaters until next Spring, Guardians 3 is building plenty of hype as the MCU dives further into its cosmic adventures with the movie's iconic team of misfits. From Will Poulter's long-anticipated debut as Adam Warlock to a potential appearance from the High Evolutionary, this intergalactic franchise is set to close off its trilogy with plenty of excitement.

To bring all of this together, Marvel Studios is investing another major round of money into Guardians 3, which continues the MCU's trend of bringing big-budget blockbusters to the big screen for fans to enjoy. However, thanks to a recent interview with Gunn about the MCU threequel, he didn't have the easiest time with the money he got for this particular outing.

James Gunn on Limited Budget for Guardians 3

Guardians of the Galaxy 3
Marvel

Speaking with Collider, director James Gunn shared some of his struggles with the budget provided by Marvel Studios on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

When asked if he had the budget in mind while working on Peacemaker for the DCEU, he shared that it's always on his mind when he develops a movie or TV show. Admittedly, however, he acknowledged that he struggled with Guardians 3 since he would need a budget of "half a billion dollars" if he could have everything he wanted.

"No. I innately think about budget while I'm writing, always. Even something as big budgeted as (GOTG) Volume 3 is still a struggle. You know, it's still a struggle to make it fit the budget because you want a movie to be half a billion dollars. If I had half a billion dollars, I could kind of do pretty close to what I want. That's how hard it is. I'm always having to think about budget and make concessions because of budget, but oftentimes it leads to good things. You oftentimes are forced to rethink something and you have to come up with a creative solution."

Struggle Always There for Big-Budget Movies

James Gunn has had the wonderful opportunity to direct two major blockbuster movies for the MCU with budgets both settling at near $200 million when all was said and done. Throughout Marvel Studios' history, movie budgets have ranged anywhere from as low as $140 million to as high as $400 million, and the Disney+ series are following suit as Phase 4 continues.

Even so, for somebody with as much creativity as James Gunn, there doesn't seem to be a budget out there that could let him do literally anything he wanted in a movie like Guardians 3.

In the end, Gunn has found a way to get the product he's wanted on the big screen by using the budget he's gotten, although it's unclear what more he would have done with more money. There's a chance that the special effects may have been more in-depth or that other parts of the movies would have looked different, but that budget shouldn't affect how much fans enjoy the movie.

It's still a mystery what will be seen on the big screen when Gunn's next solo adventure makes its debut, but the expectation is that the budget he's working with shouldn't hold him back too much from bringing a special film for audiences.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now filming and will release in theaters on May 5, 2023.