Marvel Movies Look Ugly

We’re not getting any closer to bringing this team to Earth at any point, are we? It seems like you’re going out further.

We are going out further, yeah. There’s a little bit of Earth in this film, but it’s not these characters going to earth.


With the first one being such a big success, and with people really keying into this portion of Marvel universe, do you sort of see, going forward, more films set in this part of the universe? I mean, we’ve been so earth-bound in the rest of the MCU. Is there a possibility of the Nova Corp or other cosmic Marvel characters sort of branching off from this foundational stone?

Yeah, for sure. I don’t know about branching off from this, but certainly inhabiting similar areas from this. A lot of our upcoming movies will be as much up here, as they are on earth, starting with not Spider-Man, starting with Thor: Ragnarok. There are three scenes on Earth in Thor: Ragnarok. Everything else is Asgard, and not any of these worlds, but worlds that certainly, let’s put it this way, in Thor lingo, it’s beyond the nine realms. There are other planets that we spend a lot of time on in Thor: Ragnarok, that certainly people would say, oh, that’s sort of like the Guardians world, but they’re just other areas of the Marvel cosmos universe.

As the Guardians reputation spreads through the galaxy, are they going to hear even a whisper of the Avengers or Thor or anything like that. Are we going to get a sense that it is sort of the same universe, even if just a quick mention.

They might know about Thor. It doesn’t come up. I don’t think they know anything about the Avengers. They might know, Volstagg and Sif walked into the Collector’s lab once, so some people know they exist, but that doesn’t come into play in this story.

guardians of the galaxy vol 2 behind the scenes

The first movie worked so well, tonally and musically and it’s funny and everything. How do you go about not just repeating that this time, sort of giving this its own sort of separate space to work in?

Well, going to all these different planets, going to very different, very different locations, and introducing all the new characters that are introduced in this movie, and significantly evolving the relationships of Yondu, Nebula, of supporting characters from the first film, is certainly a couple of the ways that James is doing that.

How are these villains different from any of the other villains that we’ve seen so far in the Marvel universe?

Taserface and Ayesha are less grandiose in their ambitions than Ronan was, for instance. Ayesha just wants to kill them, for slighting her, and Taserface wants to lead the Ravagers and thinks that, as I said, Yondu got soft. We learn that there are many Ravager factions, of which Yondu controlled one large faction, and a faction that frankly was not necessarily beloved by the other Ravager factions, in large part because they did things like traffic kids from one place to another, which the other Ravagers didn’t love necessarily and set Yondu apart from them. Yondu is getting softer. His experience with Quill in the first movie perhaps is softening him a little bit, certainly more so than the other Ravagers, and Taserface thinks, who cares about the other Ravagers, and this guy getting soft, we’re going to be, we never say pirates of course, but that’s sort of the inspiration for them, regardless, and there are a couple you saw in the B-roll, references to walking the plank. There’s, Taserface is not a nice guy.

What’s at the end of that plank?

Outer space. The deadly vacuum of space.

guardians of the galaxy vol 2 behind the scenes

What have you learned about creating villains for Marvel movies, because you know, earlier in Phase 2, as well, like the scale was always really big, like Ronan, but even Baron Zemo in Civil War, it’s very small in scope. What have you sort of learned as you guys are getting this far into the ..

Well, it always varies, but it always starts with what serves the story the most and what serves the hero the most. A big criticism of ours is that we focus on the heroes more than the villains, I think that’s probably true. I don’t think it will always be true and I think some of you spoke to Chris and Steve at the Civil War junket and they talked about, in appropriately oblique terms, Thanos. Thanos in Infinity War is in a movie that has a lot of characters, you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character, and that’s a bit of a departure from what we’ve done before, but that was appropriate for a movie called Infinity War. In a lot of cases, Ronan’s great, Lee Pace did an awesome job, absolutely serves it, but certainly was there to go up against our heroes and to give our heroes a reason for coming together. And I think it’s, I hesitate to even, in 2008, there are two superhero movies that came out. One focused on the villain, one focused on the hero, and we at Marvel looked at them, like yeah, we focus on the heroes. We don’t mind that. We like that. Please don’t start a flame war. Nobody wants that. We don’t do that. But it really always is what serves the story. Loki, great character, serves in a lot of ways, Thor. Zemo served that conflict between Cap and Iron Man.

Do you find that you might start having these villains that don’t just go away after one movie, like you had with Loki and Thanos, like you might start incorporating these villains you can develop like your heroes?

Sure, I mean, they won’t all. If we’re talking about Phase 3, a lot of them can continue. Thanos is the biggest one, of course.

It seems like the scope of this is big, but the scale seems to be small and personal. Is there sort of a universe ending or planet-destroying threat that we’re not seeing here or is it really just these two different groups that kind of …

It’s mainly these two different groups. There are other surprises and other things that happen in the movie, over the course of the story, but all of it is in the service of very, very, very personal stakes.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Is it a challenge finding time for every person in the sequel?

I think that it comes down to the screenplay again. I think Civil War, Chris, Steve, Joe and Anthony did a magnificent job of balancing those characters and there are many more characters in Civil War than there are in this movie. But that’s one of the things that James does incredibly well, and again, it’s not about the amount of screen time. It’s about what they’re doing in the screen time they have, and I think every single character on these walls has great moments, and more than that, great arcs over the course of the movie, for sure.

Can you talk about baby Groot’s costume, and why he has clothing on this time and how that came to be?

He only has it very briefly and that is a Ravager costume. The very mean Ravagers sort of quickly sew and put him in, because they think it’s funny. Groot does not think it’s funny.

Some of the fun of the first Guardians movie was the way it rather audaciously subverted a lot of superhero movie tropes, you know, down to Peter Quill challenging Ronan to a dance off in the final battles. Can you talk about whether, how that will continue in the next movie, if at all.

Well, I would say the spirit of that continues throughout the entire movie, starting with an opening in which they’re supposedly the heroes, but they went and snagged the frickin’ thing they were supposed to be protecting, which was a very early idea the James had.

guardians of the galaxy vol 2 behind the scenes

When the first Guardians was released, there was a lot of concern that when the merch came out, Gamora wasn’t seen in a lot of places. This movie has Nebula forwarded, Mantis joins the group. Are we going to see more women in the merch? Is there follow up to that where’s Black Widow campaign that people were having on the internet.

That was very frustrating for us, because we see, we see it from the other side. When I say we, I mean the filmmakers, because we’re presented with the stuff that’s being made, and I don’t know if there’s an absolutely equal sampling, but Black Widow was all over that. Gamora was all over that stuff. What we don’t see is how much of it is in any given store. How easy is one piece of merchandise to find versus another piece of merchandise. So, we see the stuff and we go, oh great, these are all our characters, they’re all great represented, they’re all going to be sold, and then we find out, oh, you can’t find this, you can’t find that, or there’s lunch boxes or a backpack where a certain character is not on it, and I think the outrage was great, because that’s not going to happen anymore. And that was one of our big things we set out to do and was very important to James as well, was putting, as we did in the first film, with a number of characters, even more so this time, putting women at the forefront of the story.

So, is that something that you’re going to be more involved in going forward, making sure that there is that representation?

There is, in as much as what we can have sway over. We can’t have sway over what a retail store, how many items of what they want to stock on a shelf, but when toy sets come over, or t-shirt designs come over, if they’re not represented properly or representative of the film, we’re not even saying is the equality of each gender specific, we’re going does it represent the movie we’re making, and if it doesn’t, we send it back until it does.


Have a great time on set. We’re making another movie around the corner here, which I’m going to spend my day on, but you’re going to go see a lot of sets you saw in here.

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