Which GOTG cast member did James Gunn reveal he wanted from the beginning?

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James Gunn, the writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy, reveals which Marvel Cinematic Universe cast member he had his heart set on from the beginning. In the Disney+ documentary Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn revealed this information and explained how he chose the actor and their role. I carried a small book with me when I initially went to Marvel to propose Guardians of the Galaxy, the director recounted. “I worked quite hard to assemble this little book with all the little illustrations, photo references, and other materials. All of the characters were included in that book, along with my suggestions for the actors who ought to represent them. With the exception of Gamora actress Zoe Saldaa, who Gunn said he “met and loved from the beginning,” none of the names in his novel were cast, he continued. Saldaa herself would add, “I want to thank you Gunn, you have been a wonderful person,” later in the documentary. You had faith in me before I had faith in myself. Consequently, I appreciate your support. Gamora will be missed, but I won’t miss the four hours of makeup.

Regarding the actors chosen, Gunn discussed how he and Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer, were successful in convincing Marvel Studios to select Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord after Pratt botched his initial audition back in April. Gunn claims that when he arranged for Bautista and Pratt to do an improv sequence together as part of their audition, Marvel decided to hire Pratt. In an interview conducted before the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 discussing the matter, Gunn stated, “It would certainly not be disrespectful of them to me to carry on in the Marvel Universe. I would like it if any characters that are still there at the conclusion of the movie had their own films, joined the Avengers, formed a new team of the Guardians, or did anything else. Later, Gunn said that he had spoken with Marvel regarding the franchise’s future, and that the latter had confirmed that Star-Lord will return, albeit it is presently uncertain when and where. Gunn won’t work on any other Guardians projects, though, as he is now DC Studios’ co-president and co-CEO.

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