×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Guardians 2’ Director James Gunn Thanks Fans, Reveals Past Suicidal Thoughts

“We are Groot.”

After premiering stateside Thursday night, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is already the No. 1 movie in America thanks to a $140 million domestic debut. So to celebrate, captain James Gunn put aside some time over the weekend to personally thank his fans, but not just for their patronage.

The Marvel-Disney writer/director shared a rather lengthy Facebook post on Saturday covering everything from the sequel’s success, to his own history of being a misfit — just like Star-Lord and his ragtag team of heroes.

Related Content ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ Will Be the ‘Final in This Iteration,’ James Gunn Says

“I would be lying if I said I don’t get distracted by the numbers. The first thing I do in the morning is roll over in bed and check my phone for the morning box office reports,” Gunn wrote, further acknowledging his impressive $17 million in Thursday night previews draw. “But, in the end, it’s not what matters to me. I write this now to let you know, but also to remind myself. Because I’m human and I sometimes forget.”

“When I was young I felt utterly alone, at times to the point of suicidal thoughts,” he continued. “I never felt like I belonged, had an incredibly difficult time connecting to other people and, despite having love around me, I had an impossible time experiencing it, or taking it in.”

Luckily, Gunn was able to turn to filmmaking in order to feel connected to other outsiders. “I work because I like telling stories. I work because I love the relationships I have with my collaborators. And I do it because I like connecting with people, and the easiest way I know how to do that is through filmmaking,” he reflected. “I do it so that some kid in Thailand, or England, or Colombia, or Brazil, or Japan, or Russia, or anywhere, can hear the frequency of his or her own heart bouncing back off the Guardians.”

Gunn also used the message to confirm he’s already in the early stages of making “Vol. 3.”

Staying true to the film’s familial nature, the “Guardians” helmer concluded his message with one final note to outcasts:

“They are me. They are you. We are Groot.”

James Gunn’s entire Facebook post can be viewed below.

“I’ve spent the past two and a half years making a film – probably a good 95% of my non-sleeping life during that time – and sometimes it seems it all comes down to these few weeks of release in theaters. Let me tell you, it’s harrowing.

The movie is doing incredibly all over the world – up nearly fifty percent over the first film in most territories, and a breakout hit in countries where it didn’t do as well the first time around (hi, Korea!)

I’m exceptionally proud of how well it’s doing in the countries I’ve visited and where I’ve made many friends the past few years – Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, Russia, the UK. You’ve all welcomed me into your countries and I’m a better person for my interactions with you.

So, as we open up around the world, I would be lying if I said I don’t get distracted by the numbers. The first thing I do in the morning is roll over in bed and check my phone for the morning box office reports.

But, in the end, it’s not what matters to me. I write this now to let you know, but also to remind myself. Because I’m human and I sometimes forget.

When I was young I felt utterly alone, at times to the point of suicidal thoughts. I never felt like I belonged, had an incredibly difficult time connecting to other people and, despite having love around me, I had an impossible time experiencing it, or taking it in.

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.

So this morning, as the internet discusses box office and its many theories around what that means (zzzzzzzz), I’d like to remember that that’s truly all nonsense and noise. The only meaning the money holds for me is that I can pay my mortgage, feed my dog and cat, and continue making movies. I haven’t worked two and a half years just to watch a string of numbers getting higher.

I work because I like telling stories. I work because I love the relationships I have with my collaborators. And I do it because I like connecting with people, and the easiest way I know how to do that is through filmmaking. I do it so that some kid in Thailand, or England, or Colombia, or Brazil, or Japan, or Russia, or anywhere, can hear the frequency of his or her own heart bouncing back off the Guardians.

They’re a group of heartbroken misfits whose lives have been bereft of tenderness and connection and who have a nearly impossible time trusting themselves or others. But they’re learning, one step at a time.

They are me. They are you. We are Groot.

And no matter how much world leaders are telling you we aren’t in this together, we are. You are not alone.

Thank you so much, my Facebook friends, for supporting me over the past two and a half years, and thank you for all the messages letting us know we’ve keyed into the frequency of your hearts. I love you all, and I’ll continue being here with you over the next three years as we create “Vol. 3.”
❤️

James

PS Still blocking spoilers. Sorry.”

More Film

  • Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear

    Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear Ex'

    Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1. The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. [...]

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content