Chris Pratt Admits He Thought 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Might Flop

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters today, and given the early reviews, it seems safe to say that director James Gunn has stuck the landing with his Marvel trilogy.

Even with lukewarm receptions to other recent MCU outings such as The Eternals and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Marvel fans likely had faith in Gunn thanks to his deft steering of the previous two films. Before the first blockbuster film in the trilogy was released in 2014, however, it was a different story.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gunn and star Chris Pratt recalled the critical skepticism leading up to the first film—even as MCU had cemented itself as a major player with tentpole franchises such as Iron Man, Captain America, and The Avengers.

"I don't blame any of the press for thinking Guardians of the Galaxy was gonna be a flop," Pratt said with a laugh. "It makes sense. They were like, 'Really? The Guardians of the Galaxy? There's really no other Marvel comic book characters we can make a movie about? Can't we do Captain America or Hulk or Iron Man again?'"

Even Gunn admitted that he was skeptical heading into the project.

"Really, when Marvel first pitched me the idea of doing [Guardians] as a film, I thought, 'God, I just don't know how to get into it,'" Gunn admitted. He particularly struggled with what to do about Rocket, a cartoonish talking raccoon that he worried might feel like putting "Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers."

As we all know now, Rocket became so integral to the films that finishing out his story served as a major inspiration for Gunn to complete the trilogy.

Gunn managed to defy early expectations and turn the ensemble franchise into some of Marvel's most popular films to date. And with Pratt dropping the first F-bomb in Marvel history in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Rocket is evidently not the only foul-mouthed character this time around.