Marvel Studios is turning to a perhaps unexpected name for their next big franchise in the making, Guardians of the Galaxy, eyeing up-and-coming director James Gunn for the film. Gunn cut his teeth working at Troma before penning both Scooby Doo live-action cinematic movies and the Dawn Of The Dead remake. He then directed the cult hit Slither and the indie vigilante comedy Super.
While he hasn’t helmed anything on the scale of Guardians, THR reports that Marvel thinks he’s their man. His possible hiring may well be down to the influence of Joss Whedon, as Gunn as good friends with Joss Whedon and the Firefly crew. As Whedon has signed a deal to helm The Avengers 2 and help oversee the direction Marvel’s interlinked universe takes, it’s like he had a hand in suggesting Gunn.
No deal has been signed yet, but the director is currently Marvel’s top choice for this sci-fi adventure, which finds a group of intergalactic outlaws and a U.S. pilot trying to make off with an undisclosed object that the entire universe seems to want. The studio is said to love James Gunn’s sensibility, and his keen ability to mix action, horror, and comedy.
James Gunn isn’t the only name Marvel has sought out, though. If a deal isn’t reached the studio is also looking at Peyton Reed, best known for the cheerleading comedy Bring It On, and the team of Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, who co-directed the critically acclaimed Half Nelson.
THR also offers these details on Guardians, “The movie’s lineup will include Drax the Destroyer, a human resurrected as a green warrior with the sole purpose of killing Thanos (the villain in the Avengers final-scene tease); Groot, a giant tree-man; Star-Lord, a gun-toting half-human/half-alien intergalactic vigilante; Rocket Raccoon, a genetically engineered animal with a knack for guns and explosives; and Gamora, the last survivor of her species who was saved by Thanos to be his assassin but now battles him.”
The film, which seems likely to be CG animation (although there are some reports it could go live action), is due for release in 2014.