Guardians of the Galaxy Director and Star Talk Music and Cameos. No, Not That Cameo!

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and star Michael Rooker presented the Saturn Award for Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture to Kevin Feige for Iron Man 3. While Feige was photographed with his award, I got to ask Gunn and Rooker about the upcoming Marvel movie. By now you’ve seen the trailer with “Spirit in the Sky” and “Hooked on a Feeling” playing on the soundtrack. Gunn confirmed those songs are in the movie.

“Yeah, the music in the trailer has been chosen by me which is a part of Quill’s mix tape that he has in the movie,” Gunn said. “And a lot of those songs, you hear in the movie so it’s what Quill has. It’s the only thing he has from Earth.”

One can imagine Norman Greenbaum and Blue Swede were jumping to be included in a Marvel movie. They were cooperative, but were also well paid.

“The songs we were choosing were very particular songs that had not necessarily been overplayed, so it wasn’t like paying for a Led Zeppelin song or a Rolling Stones song,” Gunn said. “The songs were expensive but we definitely had the budget to cover it so everybody got well compensated for their music. Now, like Blue Swede, they went very high on the charts just because of the trailer and ‘Hooked on a Feeling.’”

A regular in James Gunn films like Slither and Super, Michael Rooker plays Yondu. Gunn said he wrote Yondu in the script for Rooker, but Rooker went and did “too much research” on the comic book character.

“Exactly,” Rooker responded to the too much research comment. “I read several in the past but I really started looking at him more in detail. Then it was all up in the air once we got there. His imagination just went everywhere and mine goes everywhere. We get together somehow and it was beautiful. It came out great.”

Since Gunn got his start writing the Troma movie Tromeo and Juliet and co-writing director Lloyd Kaufman’s first book, he gave Kaufman a cameo in his big budget Marvel movie. You’ll have to look really hard for him though.

“He looks like himself but he’s hard to pick out,” Gunn said. “He’s only in for a flash. It’s not an actual role but he is in the movie.”

While characters like Rocket and Groot are CGI, and Yondu and Gamora are painted actors, Rooker said to look out for some other twists on humanoid performers. “I would add humans that are interesting shape-wise, bodily configuration,” Rooker said.

Gunn confirmed, “Yeah, we have a lot of strange humans. Your character leads a band of outer space smugglers known as The Ravagers and they’re a bunch of interesting chaps, and were actually great guys, great British guys with interesting faces.”

As his comic book inspiration, Gunn cited the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning run of Guardians in 2008. His script is a complete original though. “Those were the characters we took and I think we also took the balance of the comedy and the darkness from those issues, and those are the characters we use in the movie, is the main character. It was basically those guys who inspired it, that got the ball rolling. We’re true to the spirit of what the comic is, although not necessarily every facet of every single character within the comic.”

Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1.

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