James Gunn Shares Painful Process Behind Choosing Drax and Gamora’s Skin Color

When it comes to screen versions of well-known characters, none seem to be put under scrutiny more than those of Marvel and DC comics. While answering fan questions on Twitter, The Suicide Squad director, James Gunn, revealed a little insight into how certain decisions are made regarding how some of our favorite characters end up looking when they hit the big screen. While answering a variety of questions, Gunn was asked specifically about the color of Drax and Gamora in Guardians of The Galaxy and how they differed from their original comic book counterparts.

One user asked James Gunn why Drax was gray and not green in the Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation of the character. Gunn had a couple of things to say on the matter. “Because there were enough green people in the MCU and green is the most difficult color to get to look like actual skin. We tested a lot of colors and the grey simply looked best for the character.” Another user followed up on this point, saying, “The grey really worked well, for the record. The red markings were super cinematic – they stood out I think better in an ash grey versus a green.” Gunn came back on this with another interesting bit of trivia about the early iterations of Drax. “Oh yeah you just reminded me another reason I didn’t like the green was in some early designs Drax looked too Christmasy for my taste (even though I love Christmas).”

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The talk of Drax and his green skin and the torturous process there seems to be around getting it to look just right on screen led to a question about one of Drax’s fellow Guardians; Gamora. Following on the back of James Gunn’s Drax comments, he was asked, “Now I’m wondering about the Gamora skin? How hard was to get to it, color and texture wise?” Gunn responded with, “The worst. A total pain. I almost turned her blue. But, you know, Avatar vibes.”

This one is interesting for two reasons, firstly it points out that at some point in the creation of every movie there is a reasonable amount of consideration given to whether certain characters are going to lead to too many comparisons with those from other franchises. While on the surface, it would be hard to think anyone could make a mistake between Gamora and the characters of Avatar, but obviously with Zoe Saldana having already appeared in James Cameron’s blockbuster, it becomes clear that sometimes these discussions need to be had.

Secondly on this point, is that sometimes it seems that to make the character the best they can be, someone has to bite the bullet and accept that the task they have given themselves isn’t going to be an easy one. Considering Gamora has appeared in two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and two Avengers movies, with the likelihood of at least one more outing to come, that is a lot of pain just to bring her character to life.

Gunn appears to be popping in on his Twitter thread every now and then to continue answering some of the many questions being posed about his movies. With The Suicide Squad on the way to cinemas and HBO Max soon, we will likely see him answer a few more of his fans’ pressing queries so be sure to keep an eye on his Twitter feed for more little tidbits about the world of James Gunn.

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