James Gunn is firmly entrenched in the entertainment world of his dreams, but it wasn’t always the case.
Amid the skyrocketing success of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”, the movie’s director thanked fans for their loyalty in a touching Facebook post. “I would be lying if I said I don’t get distracted by the numbers,” Gunn said in response to movie’s box-office success and solid critical ratings.
“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.”
The 46-year-old recalled struggling to find himself as a youth. “When I was young I felt utterly alone, at times to the point of suicidal thoughts,” he wrote. “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.”
He added how, “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,” Gunn continued. “Someone out there was as weird and strange and whacked out as I was.”
The critical and commercial success of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel isn’t what thrills Gunn. It’s about something even greater, “I haven’t worked two and a half years just to watch a string of numbers getting higher,” he confessed.
“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.”
Gunn capped off his letter with: “No matter how much world leaders are telling you we aren’t in this together, we are. You are not alone.”
The film has made over $223 million in the box-office worldwide as of Friday, May 5.