Days after a new Marvel Studios book revealed the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise was nearly launched with four separate short films, James Gunn shared a Twitter thread reminiscing about the project. According to Gunn, they had gone the length to shoot footage for the short film of Rocket and Groot, including some of it in the Guardians first-look released at San Diego Comic-Con all those years ago. Instead, Gunn and Marvel Studios opted not to do the project and focus on the film itself.
"I forgot about this, but this is true. Not only did we plan it, we shot footage for one of the scripts (Rocket & Groot)-part of which was the first shot of Rocket shooting a machine gun on Groot's back that we showed at San Diego Comic Con," Gunn tweeted Monday afternoon.
He then added a follow-up tweet revealing he had intended on casting Alan Tudyk in one of the roles in the short film.
There were going to be 4 - Rocket & Groot, Gamora, Drax, & Star-Lord. Only the Rocket & Groot script was fully finished, but it was also completely storyboarded. It was the story of how they met & I still think it’s true in my headcanon. Also I wrote a role for @AlanTudyk in it!— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 25, 2021
"We didn't end up doing it because I realized it was ridiculous for me to be writing and directing 4 short films at the same time as I was prepping an enormous world-building movie," the filmmaker continued. "The 3 shorts were going to play before the 3 movies coming out before Guardians - which seemed like a good idea to get people to know them since everyone was telling us these unknown characters were going to be 'Marvel's first bomb.'"
He then finished the thread by revealing much of the Star-Lord short film ended up being adapted to the beginning of the original film anyway.
"It was really hard for me to admit it was too much for me & I was sad deciding I couldn't do them (especially Rocket & Groot). But, you know, maybe someday!"
The 4th short was going to be Quill’s backstory which is really what’s at the beginning of Guardians now. It was really hard for me to admit it was too much for me & I was sad deciding I couldn’t do them (especially Rocket & Groot). But, you know, maybe someday!— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 25, 2021
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies are now streaming on Disney+ while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is due to hit theaters May 5, 2023. I Am Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special have yet to receive release dates.
What members of the Guardians would you like to see spin-off shows of? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!