has emerged as Marvel Studios' choice to direct its upcoming space superhero saga Guardians of the Galaxy
After a lengthy search, sources say that Marvel executives now are talking exclusively with Gunn, whose previous credits include the genre films Slither
. The studio is said not to have ruled out others in the running — Peyton Reed
(Bring It On
, Yes Man
) and Half Nelson
helming team Ryan Fleck
and Anna Boden
were in the mix, according to sources — in case talks with Gunn's reps do not lead to a deal.
Marvel is said to like Gunn's sensibility and his ability to mix comedy elements with action and horror, a quality he shares with The Avengers
director Joss Whedon
, who, with his exclusive contract with Marvel, is now a major architect of the company's expanding universe. Marvel declined to comment. Galaxy
is the first original title in Marvel’s “Phase 2" of movies, which also includes Iron Man 3
, sequels to Captain America
, and Avengers 2
Marvel officially announced the movie at Comic-Con. Earlier this month, THR
reported that it hired Chris McCoy
to rewrite the space adventure movie, which had a previous draft of a script by Nicole Perlman
While there have been several incarnations of the Guardians
team in the comics over the years, the movie’s lineup will include Drax the Destroyer, a human resurrected as a green warrior with the sole purpose of killing Thanos (the villain in the Avengers
final-scene tease); Groot, a giant tree-man; Star-Lord, a gun-toting half-human/half-alien intergalactic vigilante; Rocket Raccoon, a genetically engineered animal with a knack for guns and explosives; and Gamora, the last survivor of her species who was saved by Thanos to be his assassin but now battles him.
Earlier this week a logline made the rounds describing the plot as concerning “a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants."