When you are hitting home runs it is hard for the coach or fans to criticize your swing, but when you’re batting .200, every tiny problem gets put under a microscope. Critical and commercial success is par for the course with Marvel Studio’s films and has made each release something of a foregone conclusion at the box office. This type of reliable success has, with the exception of Ant-Man, masked any behind-the-scenes drama. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most successful and well-loved films, so it is with some surprise that we learn that the production of the film was not all smooth sailing. In fact, Director James Gunn ran into problems with Marvel’s notorious ‘creative committee’.
In a Vanity Fair piece on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, James Gunn explained that the source of every conflict he had on the first Guardians of the Galaxy film stemmed from notes given by Marvel chairman and former CEO Ike Perlmutter and the aforementioned ‘creative committee.’ The committee is made up of suits from the comic book and toy side of the business and in their infinite wisdom they thought that James Gunn should discard the 70s soundtrack that worked diagetically as a part of Peter Quill’s identity. The soundtrack, of course, became an integral part of the final film and went on to go platinum, which in today’s age is no small feat. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy also went on to gross $773 million worldwide and the sequel bested it with $863 million. The use of music in Guardians of the Galaxy was echoed in its sequel and served as a template for Thor: Ragnarok, which also used music to great effect.
Of course, this creative committee at Marvel was just recommending ideas for what the movie might need in order to be successful and make money. But this is also why it is often best to leave the filmmaking to the filmmakers. Disney realized this and in 2015 restructured Marvel, making Kevin Feige the sole head of Marvel Studios and no longer beholden to Ike Perlmutter. So the haphazard notes and feedback that James Gunn got from this committee will no longer be a problem for him or other Marvel filmmakers going forward. However, it is not all rosy now that the creative committee is hands-off of the film division. Television properties, including the Netflix universe are still under the control of Ike Perlmutter, and it has been difficult to get crossovers to happen between the two universes.
James Gunn will be returning to the Marvel Universe for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but before then you can see Star-Lord and Co. when they help the Avengers take on Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters May 4, 2018. Marvel has a ton of movies planned and CinemaBlend will keep you updated on the latest in comic book movie news.