In my amazing news of the week, I had the opportunity to sit down with James Gunn, writer and director of [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) at Marvel Studios this week for the Blu-ray/DVD release party for the movie.
I had, of course, many questions, but the first I asked was whether or not he thought a successful Planet Hulk movie was theoretically possible.
James simply said, "Well... it doesn't appeal to me that much."
He went on to say he did think it could be successful, it's simply all in the execution. But it surprised me that James has no interest in Planet Hulk. Given his body of work, this seems right up his alley.
Here's the transcript if you can't watch the video:
Putting the Marvel [film] slate aside, do you think a successful Planet Hulk movie is theoretically possible?
Well...it doesn't appeal to me that much. I mean, you know, it's always possible.
But, listen, everything is in the execution when it comes to making movies, and movies are a complicated beast. I don't think anyone would have taken the basic story of 'Guardians' and said, "You know, I think that's a story that needs to be told." It really is in the execution; it's in the way the characters breathe, the way that the humor interacts, the way that the visuals are. And it's in the heart of the story, which has to do with the relationship between a boy and his mother, and with a bunch of outcasts with each other.
But those types of things could be put into most any type of story, in different ways, and almost any story could be good if approached correctly.
Would it be a complicated story to tell correctly? Yes...but not impossible.
In Planet Hulk, the Hulk is ejected from Earth in a spaceship then crash-lands on a planet ruled by an evil tyrant. Weakened from the crash, the Hulk is taken into slavery and kept in line with a device called the obedience disk. He is then forced to battle like a gladiator for the planet's entertainment. Hulk becomes the most popular gladiator for his skills in the arena. Hulk forms a war-bound alliance with his fellow gladiators and eventually smashes his way to the top of the food chain.
There are a few versions of the Planet Hulk story. In the comics, the Silver Surfer shows up and is an intricate part of the story. In the animated feature film, this role was played by a different character due to licensing and the desire to eliminate any confusion since the Silver Surfer character was making appearances on Superhero Squad at the time. Even though certain story details are different, every incarnation of Planet Hulk has one thing in common: They're all awesome.
James Gunn is clearly a fan of science fiction. [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) is the #1 film of the summer. But even before that, in 2006, Gunn wrote and directed sci-fi/horror Slither. This is the film that pops in my mind every time I watch the Planet Hulk cartoon. The main villain, the Red King, uses a weapon that reminds me a lot of the slugs from Slither. There's definitely a similar vibe and style. There are also plenty of opportunities for humor in the story, which is something James Gunn excels at. To me, it just seems like a perfect fit.
Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait five or six years before this film is even a possibility. Marvel has laid out their slate of films and Planet Hulk is not one of the titles. Even if Marvel's lineup were still shrouded in mystery, we would still need that long to set up the necessary story elements for Planet Hulk. Who knows, maybe by then we can talk James into making it.
Stay tuned for more articles on my James Gunn interview and make sure to check me out on the various social media sites.
Make sure to get your copy of Guardians of the Galaxy on December 9th!
Joe Wakefield - Twitter: @SpookyJoeW - Instagram: spookyjoe - www.facebook.com/TheWakefieldZone