James Gunn

July 30, 2014 | 3:53 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Zoe Saldana channels masculinity for Gamora

“Guardians of the Galaxy” takes audiences on a cosmic carpet ride into the farthest reaches of the Marvel universe, with its story of an unlikely team of interstellar heroes who band together to stop a supervillain from achieving his genocidal aims. But for Zoe Saldana, who plays the resourceful assassin Gamora — known in comic book lore as the most dangerous woman in the galaxy — the role was one rooted in earthbound inspiration. The former dancer developed the character’s physicality after watching footage of a bullfighter and deciding that she should move gracefully, with elegant precision. Grappling with the trauma of Gamora’s past, however, led Saldana in another direction. The green-skinned alien is the last surviving member of her race, an orphan who was trained to be lethal by her adopted father Thanos (Josh Brolin), and her plight reminded […]
July 29, 2014 | 4:55 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': ‘Behold,’ Dave Bautista says (only) as Drax

When Dave Bautista took the stage at Marvel’s Comic-Con International panel in San Diego last year, he was overcome by emotion sitting beside his “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast mates. The film had only begun shooting, but when the former champion WWE wrestler talked about winning the role of Drax the Destroyer in the interstellar adventure, he appeared overwhelmed. “There’s a point where I go to set every day and I still can’t freaking believe I got this job,” he said at the time. “It’s something that I wanted more than anything I ever wanted in my life. When I got it, I broke down and cried like a little baby.” One year later, Bautista, 45, seems just as moved when he thinks back to being cast in “Guardians,” which blasts into theaters Friday as the first installment in Marvel’s […]
July 25, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn prepares for liftoff

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times )
About midway through Marvel’s new interstellar adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” plays over a shot of a ramshackle spaceship traveling toward a mining colony called Knowhere. The planet is actually the severed head of a fallen titan (or deity) where workers of alien races, some with candy-colored skin, collect valuable bone and fluid to ship to the outer reaches of the cosmos. The sequence could have been cribbed from the imagination of surrealist trickster Alejandro Jodorowsky, perhaps as part of his unrealized cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel “Dune.” Yet it’s far from the only over-the-top landscape in the film, which arrives in theaters Friday as Marvel’s riskiest venture. Based on a fairly obscure comics series, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the first major studio film to be directed by James Gunn, a subversive stalwart […]
July 18, 2014 | 5:57 p.m.

Marvel reveals release dates for five films, but no titles for now

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is continuing to expand. The blockbuster comic book movie studio announced on its website late Friday release dates for five upcoming films, though the specific titles were not identified. According to Marvel.com, new movies will open on July 28 and November 3, 2017; July 6 and November 2, 2018; and May 3, 2019. Up next for Marvel, of course, will be “Guardians of the Galaxy,” James Gunn’s wild cosmic adventure. Due to arrive in theaters Aug. 1, “Guardians” follows Pratt’s roguish antihero, who’s on the run from a villain known as Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) after coming into possession of a mysterious orb. Before long, Quill is allied with a rogues’ gallery that includes Bradley’s gun-toting critter, Saldana’s green alien assassin, Bautista’s vengeful bruiser, and Diesel’s tree-like humanoid. In addition to the five guardians who […]
July 16, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Rhomann Dey, Nova Prime posters revealed

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“Guardians of the Galaxy” has released two new character posters, featuring John C. Reilly as Nova Corpsman Rhomann Dey and Glenn Close as intergalactic police chief Nova Prime. Hero Complex readers can check out the new images at right and below. Marvel previously unveiled similar posters of the five Guardians — Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and the duo of Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). View the earlier character posters by clicking the links below. Star-Lord | Gamora | Rocket and Groot | Drax Due to arrive in theaters Aug. 1, “Guardians” follows Pratt’s roguish antihero, who’s on the run from a villain known as Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) after coming into possession of a mysterious orb. Before long, Quill is allied with a rogues’ […]
June 26, 2014 | 3:38 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trailer: Quill explains his motivations

So why does Peter Quill want to save the galaxy so much anyway? “Because I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!” he declares to Rocket Raccoon’s surly grilling in the most recent look at Marvel’s upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The latest of several trailers that Marvel has released in the run-up to the film’s Aug. 1 release, the sneak-peek ran during this week’s World Cup action. Check it out below. Besides Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord)  clearing up his motivations for his quest in typical wise-cracking fashion, the spot is also soundtracked by the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb,” adding to the impressive roster of songs that the “Guardians” trailers have employed, including Blue Swede’s version of “Hooked on a Feeling” and Norman Greenbaum’s sublime “Spirit in the Sky.” “Guardians” follows Quill, played by Chris Pratt, who’s on the run from […]
June 23, 2014 | 2:12 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Nathan Fillion will appear in ‘fun’ cameo

Nathan Fillion poses for a portrait in the loft on the set of the ABC show "Castle" in 2011. (Anne Cusack /Los Angeles Times)
This weekend James Gunn, the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” gave audiences yet another reason to anticipate the Marvel space adventure’s Aug. 1 release: “@STARS_TyranT: Are the rumours true that he has some part in the film?” @nathanfillion has a very small fun cameo he did as a favor to me.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 21, 2014 Nathan Fillion, of “Firefly” and “Castle” fame, will have a small part, much to the delight of sci-fi TV fans everywhere. But take note: It won’t be the one that’s been discussed in the rumor mill: The rumors of my pal @NathanFillion playing Nova in #guardiansofthegalaxy have been greatly (and entirely) exaggerated. Sorry, humans.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 21, 2014 Even before this auspicious addition, the cast for “Guardians of the Galaxy” was stacked. “Guardians” follows roguish antihero Peter Quill (played by a pumped-up Chris Pratt) on […]
June 17, 2014 | 1:31 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trailer: Gamora speaks, Quill rallies gang

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is ramping up the roll-out for its big-screen debut, which is just a little over a month away. Fresh off this week’s release of four character posters from the Marvel cosmic adventure film, a new international trailer is out. Like the domestic trailer, the clip does a good job of setting the stakes for the motley crew. As Glenn Close — playing intergalactic police chief Nova-Prime — puts it, “the fate of 12 billion people are in the hands of a thief, two thugs, a murderer and a maniac.” The international trailer also features dialogue from Zoe Saldana’s green alien assassin Gamora, who asks Chris Pratt’s roguish antihero Peter Quill, “Why would you risk your life for this?” Check it out below. Due to open in theaters Aug. 1, “Guardians” follows Quill, who’s on the run from […]
May 30, 2014 | 3:26 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Josh Brolin set for Thanos in Marvel adventure

Actor Josh Brolin is joining the cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” giving voice to the villain Thanos in the cosmic adventure from writer-director James Gunn. Due to open in theaters Aug. 1, “Guardians” follows roguish antihero Peter Quill (played by a pumped-up Chris Pratt) on the run from a villain known as Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) after he comes into possession of a mysterious orb. Before long, Quill is allied with a rogues’ gallery that includes a gun-toting creature named Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper; Zoe Saldana’s green alien assassin Gamora; Bautista’s vengeful Drax the Destroyer; and the tree-like humanoid Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. The Guardians first appeared in “Marvel Super-Heroes” No. 18 in 1969, and in the early 1990s, the team headlined its own comic series that ran for 62 issues. But for the new movie, Gunn took […]
May 19, 2014 | 5:06 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trailer: More Groot, Rocket and the misfit gang

The new trailer for “Guardians of the Galaxy” arrived Monday during a Facebook Q&A with cast members Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan, as well as writer-director James Gunn — and it’s something to behold. The cosmic adventure, due to open in theaters Aug. 1, follows roguish antihero Peter Quill (played by a pumped-up Pratt) on the run from a villain known as Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) after he comes into possession of a mysterious orb. Before long, Quill is allied with a rogues’ gallery that includes a gun-toting creature named Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper; Zoe Saldana’s green alien assassin Gamora; Bautista’s vengeful Drax the Destroyer; and the tree-like humanoid Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. Check out the trailer below. The wacky band of misfits is fleshed out more, including Diesel’s talking tree. Audiences finally get a taste of the flexing […]
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