Chris Pratt has spoken elsewhere about how he improvised the funny moment in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” where Peter Quill looks longingly at Nebula (Karen Gillan) and compliments her on the blackness of her eyes. It seems the Kevin Bacon line in the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie was something of an anomaly, however, as budgetary concerns left less room for improvisation in that film than in “Vol. 3.” James Gunn emphasized: “We didn’t do that on set. We did that in my office in Shepperton, UK.”
Prior to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Gunn had directed “Super” and “Slither,” which respectively had a $2.5 million and $15 million budget. That’s significantly less than the $232 million Disney spent on “Guardians of the Galaxy” when it went over budget. Gunn also suggested he was more uptight about budgets after cutting his teeth as an associate director on the 1997 Troma film “Tromeo and Juliet” (which had a $350,000 budget):
“I come from low budget filmmaking. My first movie I ever made was $350,000, for my first feature length film. And so I come from a place where you got to really move fast and shoot a lot of stuff. And I didn’t let go of that on the first ‘Guardians.'”
Among other things, “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” enabled Bacon to get on stage with the Old 97’s and perform “Here It Is Christmastime,” as you can see in the video above. So it’s a good thing for him and the overall humor in “Vol. 3” that Gunn, true to the “Footloose” legend, learned to loosen up and allow more improvisation. “I think that I just am more willing to take the time if I see something new, if I find the magic, go ahead and do it,” he added.