'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Director James Gunn Reveals the Secret To the Movie's Beloved Opening Scene

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn rarely turns down a chance to chat about the Marvel Cinematic Universe project. He even occasionally shares behind-the-scenes information with fans on social media. Learn what he revealed about a memorable scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

James Gunn directed the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies

Gunn gained notoriety for writing and directing 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The MCU film was a deviation from the rest of the franchise, taking the action to other planets. Fortunately for the studio, the movie starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and more churned out big box-office numbers, leading to a sequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuted in 2017, though it takes place months after the first film. Once again helmed by Gunn, the sequel reunites the fan-favorite characters, now a full-fledged team, on a new adventure. And, as with the first, it was a critical and commercial success, leading to plans for a third entry.

The opening scenes of ‘GOTG Vol. 2’ is a fan-favorite

While music is a critical component in any film, it’s even more vital to the GOTG movies. The films are scored with Peter Quill’s soundtrack full of ’70s and ’80s classic rock jams, much to viewers’ delight. In the first entry, the opening song sets the tone for the rest of the movie, and this pattern followed with the second.

In GOTG Vol. 2, the film opens with the characters preparing to fight a large, tentacled creature. Baby Groot, generally unable to help due to his size, takes on the role of DJ, setting the scene with the 1977 Electric Light Orchestra hit “Mr. Blue Sky,” dancing and evading the action as the others take down the beast, all in one shot.

Gunn shares that the scene isn’t entirely VFX

Gunn has been known to enter into film discussions on social media. When one Twitter user tweeted about practical vs. CGI effects, he said, “I adore practical, but it’s not an absolute.” Gunn continued, “The seams often show the least on an elegant mix of practical & VFX. That’s when I most often get “HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!”

In September 2020 tweet, Gunn used the example of filming “giant tentacles” like those in the aforementioned scene, which he explains “can’t be done practically.” However, when a Twitter user asked, “The opening of Guardians 2 was just pure VFX was it not?” Gunn replied, “Nope.”

He played a significant role in the ‘GOTG Vol. 2’ scene

From the camera work to the effects to the score, the scene not only delivers a feast for the senses, but it establishes the characters’ dynamic as a team while also feeding into the plot. And though Gunn both wrote and directed it, that’s not the only role he played in bringing it to the screen.

Baby Groot’s movements were done by none other than the director himself. “Because I’m getting a lot of questions about motion referencing Baby Groot’s dance, here’s a piece,” he tweeted. “We set up dozens of cameras around a soundstage floor & captured every angle of me doing the dance.”

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