Over the course of his work for Marvel Studios, filmmaker James Gunn has used social media as a way to not only promote his projects, but also to connect with fans. With both “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its newly released sequel, he made a point to use Instagram and Facebook to post behind-the-scenes photos and videos, offering fans a glimpse at what they typically don’t get to see. Of course, Gunn has also found a way to write heartfelt messages to his fans from time to time, including the latest regarding the impressive box office for “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.”
The sequel is on track for a massive $140 million opening weekend — the biggest opening for a Marvel film that doesn’t feature Robert Downey Jr. It’s an impressive feat, especially considering that in 2014, the general public didn’t have a clue as to who the Guardians were. Yet, for Gunn, while the money is nice to pay the essentials, it’s about much more than that for him. In a touching message posted this afternoon on Facebook, Gunn thanked fans, while recounting a time in his youth when he “felt utterly alone, at times to the point of suicidal thoughts,” and turned to comics, music and film for “respite.”
“I work because I like telling stories. I work because I love the relationships I have with my collaborators,” he wrote. “And I do it because I like connecting with people, and the easiest way I know how to do that is through filmmaking. I do it so that some kid in Thailand, or England, or Colombia, or Brazil, or Japan, or Russia, or anywhere, can hear the frequency of his or her own heart bouncing back off the Guardians.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,” Gunn continued. “And no matter how much world leaders are telling you we aren’t in this together, we are. You are not alone.”
In theaters now, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Glenn Close as Irani Rael and Kurt Russell as Ego.