Perhaps it's testament to the level of fandom, or the result of basing a movie on already familiar source material, or even the sadistic need to erroneously raise excitement levels for upcoming projects; but whatever the motivation, comic book movies always suffer from false rumors, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 becoming the latest victim.
Not one to shy away from confronting issues head-on, director James Gunn — who is prolific and entertaining on social media — has continued his time-honored tradition of extinguishing the flames of speculation by taking to Twitter to quash recent talk apparently revealing information on the Elders of the Universe's involvement in the cosmic sequel:
Speculation On The Elders Was Wrong
Schmoes Know had produced an article claiming that the Elders will appear in the film. As their name suggests, the Elders are a group of ancient beings who are the last survivors of their respective races, and some of the oldest sentient beings in the Marvel Universe.
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Newcomers to the franchise Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone were rumored to be joining The Collector (Benicio del Toro) and Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) to form the group, adding to earlier speculation they would be the impetus for Star-Lord to seek his father, Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell).
Although Gunn's comments could be a ploy to throw eager viewers off of the scent, there have been numerous rumors the 46-year-old hasn't made the effort to nullify, so it's unlikely he'd go out of his way to comment if the story was true. Plus, footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con appeared to show Stallone in a Nova Corps uniform, while Gunn confirmed Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) to be the main villain of Vol.2.
Latest In A Long Line Of Misinformation
The constant flow of rumors and speculation itself points toward a wider phenomenon with comic book adaptations. It's borderline impossible for a superhero movie to be released without the Internet being saturated with potential character involvement or spoilers — whether they turn out to be factual or not.
Fortunately, Gunn isn't afraid to call bullshit, and has taken to social media to vent his frustration a number of times since he has worked with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). One of the biggest red herrings surrounding the original film was the proposed involvement of Iron Man; a story which spread due to Brian Bendis scripting Tony Stark into the team in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 #1. Back in 2012, Gunn took to Facebook to confirm the rumors were false. He wrote:
"When fan sites have a slow news day, I guess they just make shit up. Honestly - almost all of the 'news' about my upcoming projects has been utterly and completely false. And I really mean all'."
That trend continued with speculation for Vol.2, and in particular, reports on the parentage of Peter Quill and the identity of his father. One story doing the rounds suggested Quill was the son of Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), who made his debut in 1967 during the Silver age of comics. Not only did Gunn dismiss those reports, he also wrote a lengthy commentary on the tendency for films to get spoiled:
"But since when is a plot spoiler a 'scoop'? Is this really what fandom wants to know? Plot details in movies ahead of time? I got in this business because I love movies, and I think most film journalists are the same way. And spoiling plot details doesn’t add to the enjoyment of the film-going experience. So bravo to those folks out there who don’t partake in this sort of thing."
You tell them, James! The director is an anomaly in the film industry, choosing to extensively interact with fans in a way few of his peers do. Not only is it entertaining, his impassioned dismissal of rumors is a reminder that the most accurate way to find out about a film is the old fashioned way of, well, waiting until it's released in theaters. Sounds obvious, doesn't it?
So until the film's release in May 2017, as well as directing one of Marvel's surprise packages, it looks like James Gunn will continue in his new role as Guardian of the Fallacy.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is released on May 5, 2017.
Do you think superhero movies suffer from too much speculation?