Marvel close to recruiting James Gunn to the "Guardians of the Galaxy"

Following the news earlier this month that Marvel Studios has hired Chris McCoy to rewrite its 2014 space adventure "Guardians of the Galaxy," The Hollywood Reporter says that the studio is talking to James Gunn about directing the film.

In a post today, THR's Heat Vision blog said Marvel executives are "talking exclusively" with Gunn, although they note other directors, like "Bring It On" director Peyton Reed and the "Half Nelson" team of Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, are still in the running "in case talks with Gunn's reps do not lead to a deal."

Gunn's previous credits include "Super," which starred Rainn Wilson as a wannabe superhero, and the horror film "Slither." He also wrote the 2000 superhero film "The Specials," the "Scooby-Doo" film and its sequel, and the 2004 "Dawn of the Dead" remake.

THR notes that Marvel is said to like Gunn's "ability to mix comedy elements with action and horror," much like "The Avengers" director Joss Whedon.

Earlier this week a logline about the film gave a brief description of what fans can expect, noting it's about "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."

The logline suggests shades of the Vance Astro story, a member of the original Badoon-fighting "Guardians of the Galaxy" who first appeared in 1969 and traveled back in time to team up with the Avengers, the Thing and other Marvel characters throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The 2014 film, however, will focus on the present-day group, who have most recently appeared in "Avengers Assemble." The concept art Marvel debuted at Comic-Con this past July features Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and Gamora.

Part of Marvel's second wave of films, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is set to open Aug. 1, 2014.

For more with the director, check out CBR's video interview with James Gunn, shot May of 2011.

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