BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
“A couple months ago someone on Twitter wrote me that something one of my characters said in my movie hurt him. I’ve gotten hundreds of tweets from people angry about moments in my films over the years, and I just ignore them, or get angry in return. But that one tweet affected me profoundly. The last thing I want to do with my work is hurt someone, especially someone who already feels disenfranchised. That made me think about what I write and what I put in my films, and I will be more thoughtful about situations like it in the future. That is, one honest and vulnerable tweet affected more change in me than hundreds of angry ones.
So, again, it’s easy to be outraged by these tweets. But whatever these angry tweeters are in need of, I don’t think it’s more anger and more rage thrown back at them on Twitter. I actually think that’s what they’re seeking. But what they need is something different. Compassion, maybe? A kind request for boundaries? I don’t know. Maybe you guys have some ideas.”
— Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn, in a longer Facebook post on Avengers: Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon’s recent departure from Twitter, which came amid criticism and abuse from fans online concerning storylines from the film.
The Dancing Baby Groot sequence from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy sparked a pop-culture sensation that launched a seemingly endless parade of merchandise and introduced a new generation (or two) to The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” It also inspired stop-motion filmmakers Kyle Roberts and Nathan Poppe to collaborate on a new video.
Using a hand-drawn background and more than 1,000 photos of Hot Toys 1/4th-scale Groot and Marvel Legends 6-inch Drax, Roberts spent “dozens of hours” to recreate that scene (with a Jackson 5 cover by Denver Duncan). The result caught the attention of “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn, who commented this morning on their YouTube page, and then tweeted his appreciation for their work.
Thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, last month we saw an amazing one-of-a-kind Groot swing set, constructed for Super-Fan Builds. And now we can check out how the crew at the Hollywood prop company Tim Baker Creations built the piece as a surprise for father-and-son Guardians super-fans Michael and Patrick Coleman. Note that Groot’s hand even has LED lights to replicate the firefly effect from the Marvel film.
“It’s too cool, ” Patrick said. “I can’t even talk about it.”
As the former owner of a Chihuahua with an extensive wardrobe — stop looking at me like that; they get cold! — I’m more than a little envious of the Guardians of the Galaxy fan who had not only the skill but the gumption to create these tiny dog-sized Groot and Rocket Raccoon outfits.
They’re even endorsed by director James Gunn, who posted the photos on Facebook: “This photo just may be the peak of my existence.”
The name of the soundtrack for the Guardians of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix Volume 1, suggests that at some point we could see a second volume. However, before Volume 1 sold more than 500,000 copies, there was actually a “Volume Zero” — or at least a playlist put together by director James Gunn and production sound mixer Simon Hayes and used between takes on the set of the Marvel blockbuster.
After tarnishing our memories Disney classics with their sendup of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, the folks at How It Should Have Ended have turned to Guardians of the Galaxy, offering some alternative takes that probably would’ve complicated Marvel’s plans for a 2017 sequel.
In the process, however, the video also addresses the blockbuster’s burning question: What’s with Thanos and that chair? As a bonus, there’s also a war of words between Baby Groot and Batman that goes … well, pretty much as you’d expect.
The treatment even gets a thumbs up from Guardians director James Gunn, who writes, “I love these. Having a How It Should Have Ended is better than winning an Oscar.”
If there’s a search for Parents of the Year, call it off, because we’ve already found them: The family who created spectacularly detailed Groot swing for their extremely lucky child.
According to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, it was made for an upcoming reality show called Super-Fans Builds, which we can only hope will provide step-by-step instructions … and a team of craftspeople to come to our homes and build it.
The 40-second scene from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy depicting a Baby Groot dancing to Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” is so adorable that it’s taken root in our hearts, leading to countless works of fan art, and the creation of little potted replicas, both official and … not.
But it also has introduced the world to a new word: grooting.
Disney Consumer Products struck deals with more than 50 companies for Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise, ensuring store shelves are stocked with everything from a Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon Figure to the LEGO Milano Spaceship Rescue Building Set to the Rocket Raccoon Suit-Up Backpack.
But somehow, nobody thought to license — spoiler alert? — a dancing Baby Groot.
Fans who remember checking the pegs at Target for the latest releases in Kenner’s Star Wars action figure line can appreciate this: Eddie Utrata shares a mock-up of what a Guardians of the Galaxy action figure might have looked like in the 1980s, specifically the back of the card that holds the figure (which, if I’m being honest, was always my favorite part of browsing for action figures — looking at the back of the card to see what I was missing).
The box caught the attention of James Gunn, director of the big Guardians movie due in August:
As Marvel prepares for the August premiere of its biggest movie gamble to date, Guardians of the Galaxy, we’ve seen its publishing division reposition what once was an oddball, third-tier concept as a first-rate, if still oddball, franchise, first with the flagship title written by Brian Michael Bendis and next with Rocket Raccoon by Skottie Young.
As interesting as that transformation may be, I’m utterly fascinated by how Marvel’s parent company Disney has gone all in on merchandising an adaptation of a comic that, this time last year, no one outside fan circles had ever heard of. Granted, with the production budget for Guardians of the Galaxy in the neighborhood of $150 million (and probably nearly that much for marketing), the studio can’t afford to be timid.
Still, Disney Consumer Products has lined up more than 50 licensees, from Hasbro and LEGO to Mad Engine and Freeze, for what it views as Marvel’s Next Big Thing, at least as far as merchandise is concerned.
“It is always exciting to launch something new in consumer products, as we did with Iron Man in 2008,” Paul Gitter, senior vice president of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, said in a statement. “By showcasing what is unique about this amazing new film we are able to develop a third Marvel franchise that can be at retail alongside our powerhouse franchises of The Avengers and Spider-Man. Continuing to diversify the Marvel offerings for consumers is a key strategy of ours.”
Faced with growing criticism, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has apologized for insulting comments he made about women, gays and lesbians in a nearly two-year-old blog post, characterizing his remarks as “poorly worded and offensive to many.”
The statement, released last night by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and re-posted on Gunn’s Facebook page, followed outreach from the organization, condemnation by the Human Rights Campaign — “James Gunn’s blog post is offensive not just to LGBT people and women but rather to anyone with even the slightest sense of decency” — and online outrage, all stemming from a deleted February 2011 post on the filmmaker’s website.
Newly unearthed via Google Cache, the results of a “Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With” poll include commentary in which Gunn refers to Gambit as “this Cajun fruit,” calls teenage mother Stephanie Brown “easy,” admits wanting “to anally do” Kitty Pryde, and suggests Tony Stark could “turn” the lesbian Batwoman.
Even as the casting search gears up for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a push has begun online to convince the studio to fire director James Gunn over objections to a nearly two-year-old blog post that many view as misogynistic and homophobic. (Note: This post contains graphic language.)
The Feb. 17, 2011 post containing the results of a “Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With” poll, complete with Gunn’s commentary, was deleted at some point from the filmmaker’s website but the cached version resurfaced earlier this week on Tumblr before receiving further exposure Wednesday on The Mary Sue. Why Gunn’s post was only recently unearthed is a bit of a mystery (he was confirmed to direct Guardians of the Galaxy more than two months ago).
Gunn’s superhero sex poll includes male and female characters — 50 in all — ranging from Wonder Woman and Superman to Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. While The Mary Sue notes “there’s nothing wrong about running a poll for the most sex-able superhero on your site,” the complaints arise over some of the filmmaker’s accompanying commentary.