Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn says that only one actor from his original pitch wound up being cast in the film.
When Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced, many believed that it would be the first flop of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The characters, which included a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, were completely unknown to mainstream audiences. However, James Gunn had a groundbreaking vision for what would become one of Marvel’s most popular series, but that vision might have been quite different if the actors he originally had in mind for the leading roles in Guardians of the Galaxy were cast.
In the Marvel Studios’ Assembled: The Making of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 documentary on Disney+ (via ComicBookMovie), James Gunn said that none of the actors in his original pitch ended up playing the characters, with the exception of one.
“When I first went to Marvel and I pitched ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ I brought a little book,” Gunn said. “I had worked very hard trying to put this little book together of all the little pictures and photo references, and all that stuff. And in that book, there were all the characters listed and who I thought should play those characters. And of course, none of those actors who were in that book ended up playing the characters, except for Zoe Saldaña, who I met and loved from the beginning.”
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, or Vin Diesel playing the other members of the Guardians, but I think we can be glad the cast came together so beautifully in the end.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finds our beloved band of misfits settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life—a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.