James Gunn Says Guardians of the Galaxy Are Not Actually Superheroes

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Guardians of the Galaxy characters

Director James Gunn is in the process of making his third superhero movie for Marvel Studios with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, set to release in theaters in May 2023. This comes after lending his expertise to DC’s superhero universe on The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, and he’s far from done in that corner of the world as well.

Gunn has regularly showcased his unique style of filmmaking, which he didn’t deviate from when he took on Marvel’s first Guardians of the Galaxy movie in 2014. It almost seemed like a perfect fit at the time thanks to how little fans knew about the heroes before their big-screen debut.

However, even though this movie features some of the most famous heroes in 21st-century pop culture, Gunn doesn’t exactly see them the same way.

Gunn On Guardians as Superheroes

James Gunn

Director James Gunn took to Twitter to share how he views his characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

@thompson_marv asked Gunn if he gets tired of making superhero movies where the main characters don’t necessarily have powers and aren't technically heroes. Gunn responded by saying he doesn’t actually consider the Guardians to be superheroes while also sharing his thoughts about how many other movies actually do include super-powered heroes:

"I don’t consider the Guardians superheroes & that’s almost every movie ever until just a few years ago."

Why Aren't the Guardians Superheroes?

At its core, the question about the Guardians not having powers is one that isn’t without substance. Everybody except for Groot largely utilizes various guns and sharp weaponry, while Groot’s physiology allows him to grow and expand to incredible sizes; only Mantis’ empathic abilities could really fit the “superpowers” category.

Even so, this comment from Gunn almost definitely has more meaning to it than just looking at a lack of special abilities.

Only a few years ago, especially pre-MCU, nearly every superhero movie in the game featured heroes with extraordinary abilities. From Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man to Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider and so many more, the “every-man” style of protagonist wasn’t as prominent before Tony Stark made his first Iron Man suit.

The bottom line is that the genre has evolved tremendously over the past two decades, allowing Gunn to bring non-super-powered heroes like the Guardians into the spotlight. That trend will continue in the MCU over the coming years with other heroes like Ironheart and Ant-Man, even with the Guardians' own future still being uncertain.

Gunn is currently filming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will arrive in theaters on May 5, 2023.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.