Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Just Set A World Record, And It's Not Even Done Filming Yet

The highly-anticipated third installment of James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy" series is well into production, but the film didn't even wait for the box office to start smashing records. As reported today by James Gunn himself, the team from the Emmy winning and Oscar-nominated studio Legacy Effects ("The Mandalorian," "The Suicide Squad," "Godzilla v. Kong") have confirmed that "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3" just broke the World Record for most makeup appliances created for a single production. The previous record-holder was 2000's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a film where just about every single visible cast member on screen dons a Who-nose at minimum. The tweet read as follows: 

Just heard from our makeup folks at @LegacyEffects that yesterday #GotGVol3 officially passed the World Record for "the most makeup appliances created for a single production" (surpassing The Grinch). Congrats, guys! Thanks for keeping practical effects alive!

As part of this unbelievable announcement, Gunn added the congratulatory note "Thanks for keeping practical effects alive!" In an era where a majority of blockbusters are like 80% computer-generated imagery, knowing that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" is emphasizing the artistry of practical effects is something worth celebrating. That's no shade to CGI, as digital FX are ridiculously impressive and difficult to seamlessly pull off, but it'd be inaccurate to say that practical effects haven't been pushed aside in favor of digital. It does have us wondering, however, just how these practical effects are going to be incorporated. More than likely, there's going to be a lot of really cool aliens on screen that make up the bulk of the demand for practical effects applications, but fingers crossed this is the movie that finally goes full-tilt ridiculous and just turns Bradley Cooper into a human-raccoon creature.

James Gunn loves and respects practical artistry

Throughout the course of Gunn's filmography, practical effects have always played a large part. After cutting his teeth in the world of low-budget horror with Troma Entertainment, Gunn's directorial debut came in the form of the beloved "Slither." While there were plenty of digital effects throughout, most of the practical effects were made by the legendary Todd Masters, known for his work on films like "Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight," "Look Who's Talking," "Legion," and even "White Chicks." Michael Rooker's transformation in "Slither" is one of the greatest instances of practical effects in horror post-2000, and had they gone the CGI route, it probably wouldn't have been nearly as powerful. It's likely due to his low-budget roots, but practical effects have almost become Gunn's calling card, with even his low-budget film "Super" featuring the director in a small role as Demonswill, clad in head-to-toe red body paint and devilish prosthetics.

Now that he's working in bigger budget superhero fare, Gunn has always included practical effects whenever possible. "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Suicide Squad," and "Peacemaker" are all better because Gunn chooses to marry practical effects with the digital, instead of relying on one or the other. He's a master of combining the two art forms, and all of his films are better because of it. 

Congratulations to Legacy Effects on their well-earned record-breaking. The May 23, 2023 release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" truly can't get here fast enough.