James Gunn on Short List to Direct Guardians of the Galaxy?

When Marvel Studios announced last month that they were gearing up for a movie starring the space-faring Guardians of the Galaxy, there were lots of fan discussions about who could possibly direct such a venture, a film that woud require action and humor as well as an ability to manage a huge amount of special FX. (A potential director was discussed on the first episode of SuperHeroHype’s Hero Chat.)

Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, filmmaker James Gunn is being mentioned as one of Marvel’s top choices to direct the movie, saying that they like his sensibilities and his ability to mix action and horror, something he shares with The Avengers director Joss Whedon (who also wrote and produced the long-delayed Cabin in the Woods, released a month before the summer blockbuster).  

Gunn previously directed the horror comedy Slither and the violent superhero comedy Super, starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, neither huge box office successes, but before that, he wrote the Dawn of the Dead remake for Zack Snyder and the Warner Bros. live action Scooby-Doo and its sequel.

Other names in the running according to the story are Peyton Reed, who directed mainstream comedies Bring It On, The Break-Up and Yes Man and was also the original planned director for  20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four, and the more unconventional choice of indie filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden who came onto the scene as the directors of Half Nelson, starring Ryan Gosling, before directing the baseball drama Sugar and the coming-of-age movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story.  Incidentally, Fleck and Boden were just recently announced to direct MIssissippi Grind, potentially starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

The original script for “Guardians” was drafted by Nicole Sperling and earlier this month, Marvel Studios hired Chris McCoy to rewrite the space adventure that recently had a synopsis released on a tracking board stating that the movie’s about “a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.”

As is normally the case, Marvel Studios won’t comment on deals and negotiations in progress so we probably won’t know who scored the gig until they announce something official.

In the meantime, you can read some of our previous interviews with Gunn here, here and here.