James Gunn is in a good position right now; his Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently tearing it up at the box office, already well on its way to doing significantly better than the already-successful first film. In an effort to take stock of his success, then, Gunn got a little reflective today, posting a letter on Facebook that talks about why he makes these movies, and what characters like Star Lord, Gamora, and Rocket meant to him when he was a kid.
Talking through teenage feelings of isolation, and even suicidal thoughts, Gunn lays out the role pop culture played in helping him feel connected to the world.
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.
You can read the whole thing—including Gunn’s renewed promise that Guardians 3 is already in the works—right here: