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Ever since Marvel Studios bullheadedly fired Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) director James Gunn from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – itself the result of bad-faith trolling campaign enacted by literal internet Nazis – the question of who would replace the beloved wonderchild of the MCU’s cosmic adventures has loomed large over the company. Even with the gangbuster year that the movie studio has been enjoying – including the release and celebration of Oscar-nominated Black Panther (2018), the decade capstone Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and the hotly anticipated Avengers: Endgame (2019) – all that people seem to want to talk about is who’s picking up where James Gunn sadly had to leave off.
Although several names have been floated and rumored for the project, the likeliest candidate seemed to be fellow Marvel wunderkind Taiki Waititi, the man responsible for the runaway success of 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. After all, Waititi seems to be operating in essentially the same wheelhouse has Gunn. Both have an eye for fun and a flair for reinventing and subtly deconstructing otherwise stale genres to give us something fresh, original and utterly unlike anything that we thought we would have wanted otherwise.
Thor - Ragnarok - Guardians - Movie - Sense
Thor: Ragnarok felt like a Guardians movie: it came from that same sense of retro style and displaced / surrogate families. He tapped into a heretofore unexplored undercurrent that had been bubbling under the surface of the franchise since Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearianesque first film and exploded it outward for everybody to see. It took the movies in a daring, unprecedented direction, and for that was rightly recognized as one of Marvel’s best films to date. Essentially delivering a Spelljammer-like take on the Guardians setup, Waititi was as natural to slot into the now up-in-the-air project as the Russo brothers were when Joss Whedon failed...
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