Here's The Painting That Inspired The Entire Look Of 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

James gunn rocket raccoon oreoJames Gillham/ James Gunn at the UK premiere of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ with Oreo, the raccoon who inspired Rocket Racoon in the film.

If you’re not following “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn on Facebook or Instagram, you should.

The director puts out behind-the-scenes photos from the film, shares lists of his favourite films, fan art, and video interviews, while taking the time to respond to a lot of fan comments.

Earlier this week, Gunn posted an image of a painting from artist Chris Foss which the director said inspired his “Guardians of the Galaxy” team the most.

Gunn said he presented this piece of art and other Foss works during a pitch meeting with Marvel to direct “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Here’s how he explains the painting’s inspiration and what happened during that meeting:

Yellow is an underused colour in films, especially science-fiction and fantasy films. In Guardians, I used it as a signifier of change, rebirth, and redemption – the yellow prison uniforms, Drax drowning in the yellow spinal fluid, the yellow Groot spores, and the yellow interlocking Nova Corps net… I believe colour is a part of what made Guardians successful. When so many huge, spectacle films have the beige colour palette of Saw, the brain becomes thirsty for colour. We were that technicolor pitcher of water at the edge of the summer desert.

Guardians of the galaxy grootDisney/MarvelThe ‘Groot spores’ James Gunn refers to.

This doesn’t mean all movies should be colourful, just that colour in general is important, and too much of one thing is boring. If, over the next few years, films become oversaturated with bright colours, brains will be relieved by a film entirely hazel and grey.

Anyway, this painting, along with other Chris Foss works, was a part of my original presentation to Marvel when I pitched myself as director and I explained the visual direction I was going to take with the film. They were immediately on board, and we ended up hiring Chris Foss to help design some of the spaceships in the film. He was, of everyone, my biggest visual inspiration on Guardians.

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