The Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, which features Chris Pratt and is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a prime illustration of James Gunn’s reputation as a filmmaker with a distinct vision for his films. Together with Peter Safran, the writer-director, assumed the role of CEO of DC Studios, and they are now working to establish the DC Universe, effectively ending the DC Extended Universe.

Fans’ reactions to the news that the DCEU would be ending were mixed, especially from those who had grown too devoted to the series. On the other hand, fans were eager to see what Gunn and Safran had in store for them because they had promised that the DCU would be intriguing. James Gunn, whose last movie in the MCU was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had dedicated the movie to his parents due to a very simple connection his family and his reel family share.

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James Gunn
James Gunn took over the position of co-CEO at DC Studios

James Gunn talks about growing up in a dysfunctional family

In a conversation with The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs, writer-director James Gunn revealed,

“I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and I’m not betraying anything by saying: My dad has been sober for a long time, but he was not sober when I was young. And that created a lot of turmoil in the family. I came from many, many alcoholics in my family.”

The writer-director’s younger brother, Sean Gunn, who had appeared in Gilmore Girls and Guardians of the Galaxy movies as well, agreed with James Gunn and acknowledged that while growing up even though he experienced turmoil, it was comparatively easy for him since he, is the youngest of the six, adding that things started to get better as they grew older.

James Gunn dedicated Chris Pratt starrer Guardians of the Galaxy to his parents
James Gunn dedicated Chris Pratt starrer Guardians of the Galaxy to his parents

The brother also noted that having a difficult father-son relationship had some positive effect on them as it resulted in the siblings having a tight bond of which they are very proud.

James and Sean Gunn’s father passed away in September 2019 just before James was to start the production of The Suicide Squad and he revealed that filming that movie was emotionally challenging for him as he was coping with the death of his father and his pet dog.

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How did James Gunn relate Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord to his life?

The audience is shown that Chris Pratt‘s Peter Quill is unable to cope with the fact that he has lost Yondu and Gamora and the character is shown being drunk in the first scene, with others acknowledging that it has now become normal for them. This situation of not being able to accept the truth dates back to the first movie where Quill runs away from the hard truth or refuses to accept it.

James Gunn didn’t particularly say that he completely relates to the character of Star Lord but the fact that he noted that he has had many alcoholics in his family draws a line between his life and the character he had written and directed who has had toxic ways of coping with a harder truth like he had mentioned in an interview via Geek Tyrant that while growing up he was mostly alone.

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy
A still from MCU’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Towards the end, Peter Quill understands that his coping mechanisms are only harming him and not doing any good to anyone, which is when he decides to let Gamora go and be her person. He begins the process of healing and returns to Earth to address his mother’s death. Just like how maybe Gunn started to heal after acknowledging his father’s death.

When asked about the connection, he said to the Washington Post, “It’s sort of what Rocket’s story is, really. How do you get to the point where you don’t let childhood trauma define you, yet you don’t ignore the devastating experience? That is a real delicate balance.”

Also read: Chris Pratt Planning To Join Star Wars Universe To Escape From MCU After James Gunn Left Marvel For DCU?

James Gunn dedicates Guardians of the Galaxy to his late father, James Gunn Sr.

James Gunn, in the end credits scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy, dedicated the movie to three main people; Chris Reynolds, Chris Shaw, and James Gunn Sr. James Gunn’s late father had a minor role in the second part of the movie as Weird Old Man, who has often been cited as a major inspiration for Gunn Jr.’s career as a filmmaker.

The filmmaker shared with the Washington Post, “Being very Irish Catholic, I knew my parents loved me, and that was the most important thing.” He explained that the sort of love-conquers conflict dynamic is the second part of the trilogy. He explained to USA Today, “It runs the gamut of emotions for him, wanting to understand why his father wasn’t around, to quickly idolizing him and ultimately learning the reality of the relationship and comparing the man who sired him to the man who raised him.” 

James Gunn
James Gunn

Sean Gunn added that it’s odd for space protectors trying to evolve from a dysfunctional family to a strangely functional one, adding that there are certain skills one needs to survive and has to learn. He also said, “James fully realized that he has a family no matter what — both in real life and with the Guardians. I’m lucky that I get to be a part of both. You’re safe with your family. And this safety seems to have freed him up to deliver his best work, his deepest work.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now streaming on Disney+.

Source: The Washington Post 

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