These days, anything Marvel Studios touches is guaranteed to turn to gold as the shared cinematic universe firmly established itself as the biggest game in town a long time ago, with every new installment in the franchise destined for bumper box office business after Kevin Feige spent a dozen years building up audience goodwill, which means that Guardians of the Galaxy might always be regarded as the MCU’s biggest ever gamble.
At the time, James Gunn was best known for writing the live-action Scooby-Doo movies and directing R-rated horror Slither, while his last effort Super had made less than $600,000. Meanwhile, the source material was a relatively obscure comic book that most general audiences had never even heard of, leading man Chris Pratt’s most high profile role to date was Parks and Recreation‘s schlubby Andy Dwyer and the two biggest names in the cast wouldn’t even appear on screen as Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper took voice only roles.
As we all know, though, Guardians of the Galaxy went on to become a massive success that raked in over $770 million globally and is still lauded as one of the MCU’s finest efforts, but in a recent interview, Amanda Seyfried revealed that she turned down the chance to play Gamora because she was convinced that the film would bomb.
“I didn’t want to be part of the first Marvel movie that bombed. I said, ‘Who wants to see a movie about a talking tree and a raccoon?’. Which is clearly, I was very wrong. The script was great, it was all based on not wanting to be ‘that guy’. Because if you’re the star of a giant movie like that, and it bombs, Hollywood does not forgive you. I’ve seen that happen to people and it was a giant, giant fear. I thought, is it worth it?”
Based on what Zoe Saldana brought to the role thanks to her background as a dancer and experience in action-orientated fare, Seyfried seems like she would have been all wrong for the part of Gamora anyway. After all, Guardians of the Galaxy was impeccably cast from top to bottom, and you can’t imagine anyone doing a better job with the characters than Pratt, Saldana, Diesel, Cooper and Dave Bautista.