While it’s been all but assured for the past month, this is still fantastic news for anyone who’s followed James Gunn’s career this past decade or so. But I’ll let the writer of Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Pt. 4 share the good news, himself. Via the man’s Facebook page:

“For a month or so there’s been a lot of Internet speculation about my involvement with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Until now I haven’t said anything, because I’m trying to be less expulsive about this project than I am about the rest of my life. But last night I got the go-ahead from Kevin Feige to let you all know that, yes, indeed, I am rewriting and directing Guardians of the Galaxy. As a lifelong lover of Marvel comics, space epics, AND raccoons, this is the movie I’ve been waiting to make since I was nine years old. Kevin, Joss, and all the folks at Marvel have been amazing collaborators so far, and we’re committed to bringing you something majestic, beautiful, and unique. I am incredibly excited. I am also incredibly grateful to the fans and the press for all their words of encouragement and support regarding my involvement with this project since the news first leaked. Thanks – you have, honestly, touched and overwhelmed me. And that’s it for now. Other than the occasional photos of my dog and cat here on Facebook, I’ll talk to you again in August 2014 when Guardians is released!”

Honestly, I can’t think of a better fit than Guardians of the Galaxy to deliver Gunn unto the mainstream. And I give credit to Marvel producer Kevin Feige for bringing a writer/director on board that can manage Marvel’s weightier cosmic material with a talking raccoon that carries a blaster rifle.

Gunn, after his early days with Troma, first crossed into A-List Hollywood material as the writer of Zack Snyder’s pretty terrific Dawn of the Dead remake. He then went on to direct the excellent Slither as well as the underseen (at least by me) Super. This promises project to see develop over the next year and a half, so let’s start speculating who voices the raccoon immediately.