With the success of the first Guardians Of The Galaxy and the box office reports trending a similar destination for its sequel, it is easy to think that James Gunn is on top of the world about now. He could likely do whatever he wants in the grand Marvel scheme and get away with it. But according to this heartfelt “thank you” note to fans he posted on Twitter, he hasn’t forgotten his place and how his success has been a long-term goal.
Gunn is certainly not the first one to detail “feeling alone” or “feeling out of place” when growing up, but it isn’t every day that the guy behind the biggest movie in the world at the moment takes the time to reach out to the people that put him there and open up. As he describes in his note, Gunn found his spot in the weirder parts of entertainment:
When I was young I felt utterly alone, at times to the point of suicidal thoughts. I never felt like I belonged, had an incredibly difficult time connecting to other people and, despite having love around me, I had an impossible time experiencing it, or taking it in.
But I found my respite in popular entertainment – Marvel comics, science fiction and horror films, the music of The Sex Pistols, The Replacements, and Queen. Suddenly I could see past the bland suburbs where I lived into a more magical world, a world more aligned with what I imagined. Sometimes these works were simply escapist fantasies that distracted me from the difficulties of my internal life. But other times, in the strongest moments – maybe through the words of Alice Cooper or Freddie Mercury, through Cronenberg films, or even in Chewbacca’s growl, I experienced something deeper – the realization that I wasn’t completely alone. Someone out there was as weird and strange and whacked out as I was.
From there, Gunn expands upon his own experiences to show how Guardians is helping to do the same things for others around the globe. Much like he was finding comfort in his corners of entertainment, others are finding it in Guardians Of The Galaxy:
I work because I like telling stories. I work because I love the relationships I have with my collaborators. And I do it because I like connecting with people, and the easiest way I know how to do that is through filmmaking.
They’re a group of heartbroken misfits whose lives have been bereft of tenderness and connection and who have a nearly impossible time trusting themselves or others. But they’re learning, one step at a time.
They are me. They are you. We are Groot.
It kinda reminds you of that story about Drax The Destroyer inspiring the child with autism. The film manages to hold something for everybody, allowing fans to clamp onto specific parts and find a part of themselves in the movie. It might be a bit blunt at times, but Guardians is about a group of broken misfits coming together to do great things. Gunn’s note covers that and really is something to look to for inspiration. It’s a small comfort to know that people might be in the same boat, looking for the same things you are in life. Read his full note below.
(Via James Gunn)