James Gunn has taken to social media to bid his friends and family a "see you in nine months," as he leaves for the U.K., presumably to begin production on Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy feature film, of which he's the director and one of the writers. Gunn wrote:
"I leave for the UK for nine months in a few hours. There are so many of you out there - actual, real-life friends, who I didn't get a chance to see. In fact, I haven't seen most of you for months. I swear I haven't stopped liking you or loving you or finding you amusing. I've just been tied up with what has, so far, been a wonderful adventure. So farewell to those I haven't seen! I wish you nine amazing months! I'll see you all again around Halloween!"
The director, who has a prolific, entertaining and sometimes controversial web presence, did assure his friends and fans that he would still be on Facebook and Twitter during production. That, presumably, sets a timetable for the film's production, although filming is unlikely to begin right away since there is so much world-building to do that Gunn will likely need to be a part of in terms of designs and setup. It also seems more and more likely that casting news for the film will be forthcoming; it's hard to imagine the movie being in production for very long without reports leaking out. After all--remember how we learned who had been cast as Tyreese in The Walking Dead? Locals saw the actor, familiar to them from previous roles, loitering around town and put two and two together. Marvel's not likely to allow that to happen with a project like Guardians. Rumors have swirled for some time regarding the casting of Peter Quill, with a half-dozen young actors having admitted to or alluded to testing for the role and more than that rumored. At various points media outlets have tapped Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zachary Levi, Jim Sturgess and more as Star-Lord, with rumors that feelers have been sent out to big-name comedy stars to play Rocket Raccoon. Gunn has been mostly quiet about the rumors, emerging only occasionally to poo-poo things when they get too far out of hand. Guardians of the Galaxy is due in theaters August 1, 2014.