Get the “Hot Scoop” as we sit down for an exclusive James Gunn & Kevin Feige Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Interview. This post is sponsored by Disney. All out-of-this-world opinions are my own.
Kevin Feige & James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Interview
Interview photos courtesy of Louise Bishop of MomStart.com
As if I couldn’t love James Gunn anymore, the first words out of his mouth were:
My favorite part of making the Guardians movie is meeting with the Mommy Bloggers. That’s no joke. That’s 100% true.
Already laughing for our exclusive Kevin Feige & James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Interview, these guys promised to give us the “hot scoop” on everything Guardians. From cameos to music to a few teary eyed moments, we go behind-the-scenes of the Guardians sequel perched on the ends of our chairs. Hot scoop, y’all. It’s here.
Hey, Mister D.J.
We got the “hot scoop” on the music for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and found out who personally chose the music for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Ride at Disneyland.
James Gunn: I have a list of about 500 songs, which I think of as Guardians-type songs that Meredith Quill might really love. And when I’m going through and writing the script, I put the songs into the script where they seem to fit. And sometimes I don’t have a song that seems right on that list, and so I have to go out and search, and listen to a bunch of stuff, and see what I like. But eventually it’s all basically baked into the organic story of what’s happening in a movie, in the same way you put sugar in a cake. There was one song in the soundtrack that came from Twitter, Wham Bam. There’s nothing I get more tweets about than “you oughta put this song in Guardians of the Galaxy.” And I’m like, “I’ve never — what is that song?” And I went and I played it, and I’m like, “This is a really cool total Seventies pop song that is so different.” And then I was like, “Is this a fake song?” I thought it was a modern band with a retro vibe. Had to go and do some research on it, and found out that it really existed, and then I put it in the movie.
Kevin Feige: A lot of screenwriters put song suggestions into their scripts, and almost none of those songs end up in the actual movie. When James did that, I think even maybe on an outline in the first movie, and certainly in an outline on the second movie. On the first one, it was like, “Oh, that’s cute. He thinks these songs are gonna be in the movie. We’ll see.” Every single song. It’s not just the movie, but what’s perfect for the movie. And then on part two, I knew better. So, I would listen to the song as I’m reading the outline, and then later the script. That pool of songs that he has comes in handy.
There’s a Guardians of the Galaxy theme park ride that is opening soon at California Adventure that features songs that James suggested as well, and a few other places coming up in the future. There’ll be songs in the Guardians ride.
The Actors Weren’t the Only Ones Cast for the Movie
This being the first time I’ve ever sat down with Kevin Feige, I was really interested in the process of choosing the right directors for Marvel movies. This was a great conversation.
Kevin Feige: There are a lot of meetings, and it’s really a leap of faith. A lot of it is “the vibe” and do we want to spend, in a worst-case scenario, three years together, and in a best-case scenario, ten years together? 12? But we have a great team at Marvel Studios. And in the case of Guardians it was executive producer Jeremy Latcham and now executive producer Jonathan Schwartz who did the first round of meetings, and they were the first people James met with. They pitched the notion of this weird space movie with raccoons and trees.
James Gunn: Yeah, they pitched that idea to me. I was driving home after the meeting, and when I said goodbye to them I thought they were making a huge mistake. I’m like, “You guys have done a great job so far as Marvel, but this is Bugs Bunny in the middle of the Avengers, and you’re gonna look like idiots.” And so I kind of smiled and shook their hand and I went home. I didn’t really think I was going to take the gig, or that I wasn’t being offered the gig. I didn’t think I was going to pursue it in any way. And then on the way home, it hit me. It really, really hit me, and it was like seeing the first poster in my head on the way home, and I realized what this movie could be, and how it could bring color and heart into a big franchise film, and create the kind of space opera that I’ve wanted to do my entire life, so that’s how it started.
It’s funny. Chris Pratt often gives me a lot of credit, and a lot of gratitude, and he owes me his life. Because without me, what would he really be doing? He’d be eating a Chili’s hot dog, you know? I love Chris, and I think that I’m lucky that I’m good at casting. I’m able to see something in these actors that maybe somebody else doesn’t see. I’m not sure everybody would have seen in Dave Bautista what I saw, or Pom Klementieff of what I saw. But in the same way, I think Kevin cast me. I gave Chris an opportunity, and Kevin gave me an opportunity.
Cameos, Cameos Everywhere
And you get a cameo! And you get a cameo! In a breaking interview, we definitely did get a hot scoop on a cameo in the movie – the voice of Mainframe. And a few other notable folks.
Miley Cyrus has a cameo in the movie. I’m a hundred percent serious. I was watching the Voice, and I’m like, “She’s so likeable.” And her voice is awesome. I’m like, “She’s got the best voice.” And then I wrote this thing and I went in and I said, “Kevin, what do you think about casting Miley Cyrus as the voice of Mainframe?” And he was like, “Well, I’ll see if we can get her.” And then I got her to do it.
My parents are in it. My brother, my brother’s wife, my two nephews and my niece are all in a scene. Yeah, so I kill a lot of my family members. It’s not quite “aww.” It’s more like, “grr.” My parents are in the credits as “weird old man” and “weird old man’s mistress,” which my mom loved.
An Ode to His Parents
Speaking of his parents, James Gunn really turned up the nostalgic dial for this unexpected tribute to his mom and dad. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has such a deeper meaning than just being a cool sci-fi adventure movie. There’s so much more heart.
I think the first movie really is about a relationship from a mother to her son, and the second movie is about a relationship from a father to a son. It just may not be the father that we expect it to be. And they’re all very imperfect characters. But my parents loved me. My parents would be the first to admit it was not the easiest upbringing, but they loved me. And I think at the end of the day, that’s what’s most important, and I think that’s the point of the movie. I think these characters love each other, and as hard as it is for them to express it to each other, and even more so with a character like Rocket, who has almost an impossible time taking it in at all — that’s what the movie is about.
Finally Giving a SH*T
If you guys know me, I’m not one for language, especially on my site. But this quote from James Gunn was just so poignant. Comparing his own life to the series of Guardians of the Galaxy movies – it’s amazing to see how much the world can coincide and collide.
In the first Guardians movie, the Guardians say, “Maybe it’s time to actually give a sh*t about something.” And this is being completely honest. I had a lot of success doing things in Hollywood, and I always considered that my strength was that I didn’t really give a sh*t. Like I would go in and I would pitch something, and I’m like, “Well, if I get the job, then I’m gonna get money. But if I don’t get the job, then I don’t have to work for a little while.” I’m very lazy. So this fact that I didn’t care, I always thought it was my strength.
But for the first time in my life, I really wanted the Guardians of the Galaxy gig. That honestly had never happened to me before. I had never done it. So it was a new experience for me in caring, and it’s so funny because that’s exactly what the Guardians are about, that same thing.
Catch up on Everything Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Love everything Guardians of the Galaxy? Catch up on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Red Carpet Experience & Press Event:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
- Walking the Purple Carpet of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Premiere + Photos
- Chris Pratt Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Zoe Saldana Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Dave Bautista Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, & Elizabeth Debicki Interview | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Kurt Russell | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
And check out our exclusive on-set interviews earlier this year – including ones with James Gunn & characters in costume!
- 50 Things I Learned On Set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Chris Pratt Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Zoe Saldana Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Dave Bautista Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Michael Rooker Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Karen Gillan Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Kurt Russell Interview
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 James Gunn Interview
Find the “heart” and spot the cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, now in theaters!
I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in exchange for this posting. All Marvel-loving opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more of your of the latest Disney movie updates!