His world James Gunn has never been more adventurous than it is now.
The director is about to release The Guardians of the Galaxy Special holidays on November 25 on Disney+, and is also deep in post-production Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his final film in the Marvel Studios franchise. Last but not least, he just became co-chairman and co-CEO of DC Studios, along with producer Peter Safran, and the duo is busy planning the next decade of storytelling.
The Public holiday Specific It’s about Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) trying to help Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) rediscover his love for Christmas, so they decide to give him his favorite actor, Kevin Bacon. It took Gunn just a few hours to write the script for the 44-minute presentation.
“I’ll be honest, I wrote the script in a few hours, so it just poured out of me. It was very easy,” says Gunn The Hollywood Reporter. “Everything about the shoot was easy. Everything to get the shows out of the world was easy, while Vol. 3 it was torture in every way.”
Gunn also has an update for Vol. 3post-production status.
“It’s a big movie and it’s so different from the special because the special is so wacky and crazy. The film is so emotional, but it was a real joy to make it. So it’s coming along great,” shares Gunn. “I still have a lot of VFX shots I’m working on, and of course I’m putting together the score with John Murphy, which is huge. So those are the things I’ve been focusing on the most lately.”
In a recent conversation with THRGunn also explains the benefits of shooting the expert and Vol. 3 At the same time.
James Gunn, congratulations in more ways than one.
(laughs.) Thank you very much.
So was Kevin Bacon the germ of this idea?
Well, the germ of the idea was to have a special celebration. I love the holidays and I love Christmas cookies and I love being with my family and giving each other presents. It’s my favorite time of year. When I was a kid, I loved it Star Wars Special holidaysbut I also loved Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I’m still thinking [How the Grinch Stole Christmas!] is one of the best cartoons of all time. So the idea of doing a special celebration with the Guardians was both a really funny idea for me and also something I really wanted to do. And once I sat down and started trying to figure out what the story was, the idea of Kevin Bacon came very, very quickly, and I wrote the whole story in a matter of hours.
“Introducing Kevin Bacon” is such a funny gag in the opening credits. Was there any guild red tape you had to navigate?
NO I do not think. Kevin simply agreed, saying, “We introduce Kevin Bacon.” When we showed him the trailer and it said “featuring Kevin Bacon”, he lost it. He lost it. So we knew we were probably going to be fine with that.
Out of curiosity, if Kevin wasn’t available for this, which of Peter’s (Chris Pratt) favorite musicians would you send after Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff)?
Oh, I don’t know. Peter Quill was pretty young when he left Earth, so I’m not sure how much awareness he had. When I was eight, I knew who the Monkees were, but I don’t know who would be famous in 1987 that Peter would have worshiped when he was still on Earth. MC Hammer, maybe.
So how’s the post going Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
Large. It’s wonderful. It’s a big movie, and it’s so different from the special because the special is so wacky and crazy. The film is so emotional, but it was a real joy to make it. So it’s coming along great. I still have a bunch of VFX shots I’m working on, and of course, I’m putting the music together with John Murphy, which is gigantic. So those are the things I’ve been focusing on the most lately.
Did you shoot the special right after wrapping? Vol. 3?
I shot them at the same time. One of the great strengths of the special was the ability to introduce elements into the film that I don’t have to explain afterwards at the beginning of the film, such as Cosmo the Spacedog [Maria Bakalova] or the fact that they live at the Head of Knowhere, their new abode, or show off their spaceship, the Bowie, which, in real life, is this four-story set. It’s the most amazing set I’ve ever played on, so we were able to use the sets we had the money to build. Vol. 3, in the special. Otherwise we wouldn’t have that kind of money to build these million dollar sets.
So are you ready for the flood of articles about a certain voice that Kevin Bacon does?
I didn’t even think about it, but I’ve already been asked a few times today. (laughs.) I don’t really think about that stuff, but yeah, I’m ready for people to bring it up. I realize now that it’s one thing I didn’t quite realize at the time. I mean, I knew it was funny when I did it, but you know…
“Goon was leaving a trail of crumbs all the time.” I can see it now.
(laughs.) It can.
When I saw Sean Gunn’s character Kraglin in the opening scene, I immediately thought of you and your brothers at Christmas. What is the Christmas memory with you?
Christmas was a wonderful time in my family. My family was a crazy place to grow up, but at Christmas, people really calmed down for the most part. Of course, we also have those famous family fights during Christmas, but there are six of us in my family. So the six of us would sit at the top of the stairs and my parents would open these doors so we could go down and open all our Christmas presents or see the Christmas presents. They were not usually wrapped. it was right under the tree. And so it was fun times when I was with my family. And it always gave me the opportunity to really tune in with the family and be there with my family during the holiday season. It’s the reason I love Christmas, and so the special holiday, to me, is completely ironic. It’s funny because it’s not what you’d expect, but it’s ironic because I love Christmas. It’s wonderful.
It sure was nice to hear that Smashing Pumpkins song again. Have you had “Christmas” on your mind early enough?
Yes, the music I picked up very early on. I’ll be honest, I wrote the script in a few hours, so it kind of came out of me. It was very easy. Everything about the shoot was easy. Everything to get the shows out of the world was easy, while Vol. 3 it was torture in every way. And so it was kind of like going back and forth between those two things. So it was really fun and really easy, and the score was instant.
On a sad note, it was a good time to hear Low’s “Just Like Christmas” given what’s happened recently.
Mimi Parker, Low’s co-lead singer and drummer, passed away a few weeks ago.
Wow, I really didn’t know that until now. God, this is so sad.
So that moment with their song took on a whole new meaning for me while I was watching, but I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
No it’s OK. Thanks for telling me. Oh my god, wow.
Besides buying their records at Amoeba, can you share your story with the Old 97’s?
They’ve been my favorite band since the 90s and I’ve seen them in concert a billion times. came across [lead vocalist] Rhett Miller in 2005 because I put an Old 97 song at the end of it Slip, my first film. It plays over the end credits, and Rhett and I have stayed in touch ever since. And that’s how I started writing this song to begin with [of the special], “I don’t know what Christmas is (but Christmas is here).” So I had all these lyrics for it, and it kept changing. I walked around my house, singing into my iPhone and trying to figure out how the song would work. And finally, I approached Rhett and said, “Will you help me write this song? Because I can’t do it alone.” And he said: “Absolutely.” And so we started sending tons of recordings and lyrics back and forth, and we wrote this song together.
And after we wrote that song, I said, “Why don’t you play this alien band? Why don’t you come on set and play?’ And he said, “Okay.” And then we took a previous song they had recorded and re-recorded it with Kevin Bacon for the end of the show. So Rhett had to play, and he’s never played before. He said, “I’m really nervous about it. I don’t know what to do.” So I said, “It’s like when I saw the Doobie Brothers What happens!! when I was a kid. They were terrible actors, but that almost added to the charm. So if you’re a terrible actor, it’ll be fine. I don’t care if you’re a terrible actor.” And instead, he was great. He’s great in the role. So the whole thing was really fine.
Could they really play with their costumes and prosthetics?
Yes, they totally played. Was amazing. These guys are the best guys in the world, but they had to be in hell because people complain so much about this makeup when they’re in it. But they never once complained. They sang and played their instruments for eight hours, and just kept coming and going, cut after cut. So they were amazing. They’re just the greatest guys, not to mention the greatest music. So I hope this turns a lot more people on to Old 97’s.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special premieres November 25 on Disney+. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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