‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ director James Gunn applauds Marvel’s growing embrace of low-budget storytellers

Saturday, 22 April 2017, 01:35:37 AM. The writer-director is especially impressed with small-film directors like Ryan Coogler who can make the leap to a Marvel blockbuster.
“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” writer-director James Gunn, left, and star Michael Rooker on the red carpet this week in Hollywood. (Frederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images) WITH THE announcement this week that “Captain Marvel” has found its directing team in Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Marvel Studios continues to extend its trust in directors known more for low-budget storytelling than blockbuster effects. James Gunn, who himself was best known for smaller films like “Slither” before signing with Marvel, applauds the trend. “That, I can stand behind,” Gunn tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs by phone Thursday, while promoting his “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2″ (due out May 5), the sequel to his 2014 smash. [‘Captain Marvel’ film finds its directors, the duo behind ‘Half Nelson’] Gunn himself had been in the business for a couple of decades when Marvel called — his projects ranged from “Dawn of the Dead” (2004) to “Super” to “Scooby Doo” — yet he’s especially impressed with talents who make the Marvel leap quickly. “I think it’s incredible that they do one or two low-budget movies and then” handle a blockbuster, says Gunn, who is particularly impressed with Ryan Coogler and Taika Waititi, who are directing the forthcoming “Black Panther” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” respectively. Coogler had directed two feature films (including “Fruitvale Station”) prior; and before 2014, Waititi (“Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) had worked mostly in TV. “In Ryan and Taika, I know...Read more
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