Gunn: Don't Expect Comics to Reveal All About Marvel's 'Guardians'

James Gunn says that, this time, comic books won't explain everything about the history and direction of "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Marvel Entertainment

You might think you know what to expect from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy movie because you're familiar with the comic book incarnation of the team -- but if that's the case, director James Gunn wants you to think again.

"Here's the thing, truthfully the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes out of both the [regular Marvel Comics] and Ultimate Marvel Comics universe, and then they re-create some elements themselves," Gunn explained during an appearance on the Pointless Podcast. "What Thanos wants in the comics is not necessarily what Thanos wants in the movies. We don't know yet."

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Thanos' motivation isn't the only thing that's different from the comics; the Badoon -- the alien race tied most closely to the Guardians in their comic book incarnation -- are entirely missing from the Guardians movie because, Gunn explained, Marvel doesn't have the movie rights to them. (They first appeared in an issue of Silver Surfer, which may mean that Fox has the rights under its Fantastic Four licensing deal.)

Similarly, don't expect the alien Skrull race -- "Marvel only partially owns Skrulls," Gunn explained. Again, Fox would presumably share the rights as the characters debuted in Fantastic Four #2, which also may explain why Ronan and Korath, two characters whose comic book versions are proud members of the Kree military, have different allegiances in the Guardians movie. The Kree also made their debut in the Fantastic Four series, which may make the alien race either out of bounds (or, at least, shared property) for Marvel Studios.

The upshot of all of this? For once, encyclopedic knowledge of the comic books may not offer clues as to what to expect from a superhero movie -- and, if there are a lot of changes from established comic book lore, Guardians might end up with some seriously P.O.'d fanboys when it's released Aug. 1.