'Guardians of the Galaxy' filmmaker James Gunn thanks fans for film's surprising success

By Daniel S Levine,

Guardians of the Galaxy director and co-writer James Gunn took to Facebook on Monday to thank fans for the surprising success of the film, which will now go in the record books with the highest August debut ever. Gunn also noted that he’s already hard at work on the sequel teased at the end of the movie.

“Thanks to all of you who saw (and are seeing) Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, from the bottom of my heart,” Gunn wrote in his letter. “The Guardians are a group of oddballs, outcasts, and geeks. The movie is for anyone who ever felt cast aside, left out, or different. It's for all of us who don't belong. This movie belongs to you. And, today, I think we're doing okay.”

Gunn said that while he’s really happy with the film’s financial success, he’s even more happy that Marvel let him make the film he proposed to the studio two years ago. He thanked the producers and the cast for believing in his vision, which resulted in a critically acclaimed hit.

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy review

“The cast, the producers, the crew, and I felt like we were making something special while we were making it. But it is very rare that a director's INTENTIONS in creating a film, or a scene, or a character, or a line of dialogue are, seemingly, specifically what is experienced by an audience (not to mention critics!), and that seems to be what has happened here,” Gunn noted. “You have allowed a talking raccoon - for a moment, a minute, or a day - to make you a little more human. And for that, I am profoundly grateful.”

Guardians grossed an amazing $93.4 million over the weekend, easily topping the previous August opening record, which belonged to The Bourne Ultimatum. The movie also grossed $67.4 million in international markets.

Gunn has been hired to write and direct the Guardians sequel, which will open on July 28, 2017. Gunn hasn’t taken any time off and already began working on it this weekend.

The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

image of Chris Pratt courtesy of Peter West/ACE/INFphoto.com

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