'Guardians of the Galaxy' Star Recalls When He Realized the Franchise Would Be a Hit

Prior to Guardians of the Galaxy hitting theaters in 2014, few moviegoers actually knew who Peter "Star-Lord" Quill or Gamora were, let alone Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Fast forward not even five years later and all of the characters appearing in the film are now household names thanks to the critical and commercial success of two blockbuster films.

When it comes to one cast member, however, the franchise was on the up and up the second the final script dropped. ComicBook.com spoke with Sean Gunn this week and the character behind Rocket Raccoon and Kraglin told us that he never doubted the success the movie would have.

"I think I always knew from the beginning that my brother James was really cut out for the job. You know, like I knew when he was hired that like, wow, this is exactly the perfect kind of project for him," Gunn reflects. "So I had high hopes that we would make something good, you know? Then I read the script and I'm like, 'This is fantastic!'"

"If we're able to actually make the movie as written on the page, make it pop the way that it does from reading the first script, we're really going to have something here," the actor continues. "And I think I was one of the most optimistic people on set from the word go."

Once the movie began production, it wasn't too long before the cast members on set were getting go vibes from both Marvel Studios and Disney.

"I always felt pretty confident that we would have something on our hands, at least that people liked, but I never ever imagined that it would be the massive, massive hit that it was," Gunn admits. "I never thought that they would be able to sell so much. That it would be marketed so well and that kids would identify so well to it and that people would compare it to their favorite 80s movies."

"All of the runaway success was something that I never really expected."

When compared to other Marvel Studios titles, both Guardians of the Galaxy films have crafted out a niche franchise that's made Marvel some pretty killer money. Worldwide, the two Guardians films have combined for $1.63 billion, roughly 8 percent of the entire MCU earnings. Outside of the Avengers films, no other Marvel Studios franchise has two movies in the studios top 10 highest-earning movies at the worldwide box office.

In fact, Guardians of the Galaxy is either the third or fourth-highest earning origin film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, depending on if you'd call Spider-Man: Homecoming a true origin flick. Either way, the only origin movies ahead of Guardians 1 and Homecoming are Black Panther and Captain Marvel, both tremendous box office successes in their own right.

The next Marvel Studios movie set for release is Avengers: Endgame, which hits theaters on April 26th.

Did you ever expect the Guardians to become as popular as they have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter by hitting me up at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things cosmic Marvel!

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