Its a space opera
Just think of Guardians Of The Galaxy as Marvel’s answer to Star Wars . Though the comic-book movie studio launched into space with 2011’s Thor , that film spent most of its time either on Earth or the gilded lands of Asgard.
Not so Guardians , which promises to be a space opera of truly epic proportions, replete with spaceships, crazy aliens and more space duels than you can shake a lightsaber at.
“[ For a ] long time we wanted to bring in a movie and adventure set entirely in space,” Marvel honcho Kevin Feige has said. “We immediately liked the idea of making a movie based on a comic mostly unknown by people [...] that present[ ed ] various superheroes in one movie.”
It contains one of the weirdest super-teams youve ever seen
If you thought Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia, RD-2D and Chewie made for an odd ensemble, just wait till you see what Guardians has to offer.
Though the team’s headed up by Chris Pratt’s space-bound Earthling, Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord), we also have green-skinned fighter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), massive warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), blue-skinned tracker Yondu (Michael Rooker) and tree-thing Groot (Vin Diesel).
Plus, of course, Rocket Raccoon…
Rocket Raccoon is your new favourite movie character
Generally speaking, raccoons don’t get much exposure in the media world. Though they had their own (awesome) 1980s TV series and Bruce Willis voiced one in Over The Hedge , they’re normally ignored in favour of penguins and kung fu pandas.
That’s about to change with Rocket Raccoon (who’s based on a Beatles song). An integral member of the Guardians, he’s a wise-cracking anthropomorphic raccoon who knows how to handle a firearm or 12. He’s also being voiced by Bradley Cooper.
“Rocket is the heart of the movie,” says director James Gunn. “If Rocket doesn't work the movie's not gonna work. If Rocket does work the movie’s gonna work. And so for me, the whole time it's been about making something that some people could think of as a cartoon or a ridiculous character into a real creature.”
Its based on a revitalised comic brand
The original Guardians of the Galaxy were created back in 1969 by comic writer Arnold Drake and artist Gene Colan.
Debuting in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 , the team consisted of 31st century freedom fighters including astronaut Major Vance Astro, crystalline being Martinex T’Naga, Captain Charlie-27 (from Jupiter) and blue-skinned savage Yondu Udonta.
The team appeared sporadically over the next few years in Marvel Presents and Avengers comics before getting their own 62-issue run in 1990.
In 2008, a new team of Guardians were created by Star-Lord (via writer Dan Abnett) after the Annihilation: Conquest series, and it’s this team that Marvel is using for its Guardians movie.
James Gunn is directing
Guardians Of The Galaxy represents director James Gunn’s first foray into blockbuster territory. The 43-year-old filmmaker is best known for gloriously gloopy horror flick Slither – and writing both live-action Scooby-Doo films.
“There's a lot of James Gunn in this movie, and it's a strange thing,” he says. “When I turned in the first draft to Kevin [ Feige ] and Marvel and Joss [ Whedon ], and they read the first draft, they were all really happy, which made me happy. That was a really good day.
“And their biggest note was, 'More James Gunn,' which freaked the hell out of me. So, I gave them more James Gunn, and that's what's in the movie. I think it's a really unique movie… It's a movie we can go see on a Friday night.”
There will be echoes of Indy and Star Wars
The trailer that we saw at Comic-Con 2013 got our hopes up that Guardians could be the kind of film that will happily sit next to Indiana Jones and Star Wars on your DVD/Blu-ray shelf.
The footage opened with Peter Quill attempting to steal a precious artefact in a clear nod to Raiders Of The Lost Ark , before exploding with clips of alien races, the Guardians themselves lined up against a wall and Rocket Raccoon firing twin machine guns.
In other words, Guardians looks like the kind of old-school family entertainment that rarely gets a green light these days.
Thanos is in it
You know Thanos. He’s the purply-red dude who turned up in the credits sequence of Avengers Assemble . With Ultron confirmed as the villain for Avengers 2 , it appears that Thanos will instead be turning up to bother the Guardians.
“We have Thanos,” confirms Gunn. “Thanos is the thing connecting us to the rest of the Marvel Universe at this point. And in the future we’ll see what happens after this, but for right now, we’re connected to the rest of the Marvel Universe because we’re resetting the end of The Avengers .”
Thanos isn’t the only villain, though…
Karen Gillan and Lee Pace are being bad
Every bad guy needs his sidekick, and in Guardians , Thanos’ comes in the form of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a Guardians-hunting admiral. And according to Pace, he’s going to be one heck of a bad guy.
“He’s a fucking psycho!” laughs Pace. “He’s a real monster. I’ve had the best time playing this character. I’m glad it’s all on film, [ as ] I never thought I could be so nuts in it!”
Also on Team Bad is Karen Gillan as Nebula, one of Thanos’ employees, and a baddie who has a “complicated” relationship with Saldana’s Gamora…
We spoke to Gillan about the role, and you can see that here.
There could be an Avengers crossover down the line
Vin Diesel has previously talked about a “merging of brands” in a potential Phase Three Marvel movie, which had the internet all a-flutter about the possibility of an Avengers vs Guardians crossover.
We recently sat down with Karen Gillan to ask her about it , and she seemed up for a brand merge. “That sounds really cool," Gillan told us. "Not something I've heard anything about though… That would be amazing! I'd be open to that."
As for which Avenger she’d love to go up against, Gillan said: “Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr's really funny. I just love the tone of the Iron Man films. You can really see Robert Downey Jr's influence on those films. I love how they talk over each other - there's like, all these two-shots and there's such a specific tone to all of the acting that I really love in those films.”
Its out in August 2014
Put that date in your diaries now, you won’t want to miss this. Guardians will be the last Phase Two Marvel movie to hit screens until Avengers: Age Of Ultron is released in 2015, so you’ll want to get your fix while you can.
Not that this will be the last time you see the Guardians. If the film does well (and, really, how can it not?), James Gunn’s film should be just the first in a string of space operas that could give the Avengers a run for their money.
So remember: 1 August 2014. That’s when the magic happens…
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