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James Gunn made 600 versions of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Do you love any film enough to watch it 600 times? Because according to The Hollywood Reporter, director James Gunn has created 600 unique versions of his final Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, there’s no need to freak out and try to watch every single version. Gunn didn’t change any scenes or plot points between them. Instead, this effort was meant to ensure that movie lovers will get to see the film in the best aspect ratio possible in any given theater.

If 600 versions sound like a lot, keep in mind that James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water reportedly had 1,065 versions in theaters all over the world. Gunn’s Guardians variations are a record for a Marvel movie, and he apparently played with the way the aspect ratio will change during the movie itself. For example, the first 45 minutes of the movie was shot in a flat 1.85 aspect ratio, while the remaining parts of the film are in a 2.39 ratio. This means that Gunn specifically picked moments in the later part of the movie where the action on-screen will appear to get bigger.

The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Image via Marvel Studios

“Because [Gunn’s] got this extra real estate, he essentially said, ‘I’m gonna pop in and out creatively [and you’ll] suddenly see something more immersive and bigger that’s going to fill your screen,'” explained Disney’s Evan Jacobs. “[Gunn] designed it and he shot and framed for it [with this in mind]. That was his creative intention … Sometimes [the aspect ratio expands with] the music, sometimes it’s what’s happening [on-screen], sometimes it’s whatever.”

“It’s definitely the most complex delivery Marvel’s ever done,” added Jacobs. “[It gives] every exhibitor in the United States, and in most international territories, [the ability to] maximize their screen size for the audience. So wherever you go to see it, you’re gonna see the best version.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 begins preview screenings tonight before officially opening tomorrow, May 5.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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