What it's like to write 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

When Marvel hired writer Nicole Perlman, they offered her a list of superheroes she could delve into.

Perlman chose "Guardians of the Galaxy" because she loved the characters.

“Each one brought something very specific to the team.” Perlman says. Gamora, an alien assassin and adopted daughter to Marvel baddie Thanos, seemed like an exciting one to write.

“There’s a lot of [female characters] in comics but in terms of movies that are focused primarily on a female lead, I think it’s something that will become more common as we go. But it’s still considered a bit of a risk.”

The setting was also familiar: “I had a background in writing science and technology-related scripts. A lot of projects that were space-related."

She wanted the chance to write an action filmm but admits she wasn't well-versed in the Marvel universe before she started working for the company. That meant a lot of nights reading comic books. A research assistant helped her further explore Marvel lore.

“I could call him up and say, ‘Bring me anything you have that involves a character that’s a genius and that’s his super power.’ And he would bring me 16 different characters, going back to the 1950s."

Perlman’s background in science  came in handy, even if the scientific accuracy of "Guardians" had to bend a little.

“After all,” she says, “we do have a talking raccoon.”

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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