Early Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy designs featured a "human-size Rocket"

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
(Image credit: Square Enix)

The heroes of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy might have looked very different, due to their developers' desire to steer clear of Marvel's established designs. 

Speaking in the most recent issue of Edge Magazine, art director Bruno Gauthier-Leblanc explained that "I didn't want to be influenced by Marvel. Because that's the best way to make something generic or just a copy." Instead, Gauthier-Leblanc explained how the team's creative vision stems from "old 3D art from the '90s." A focus on "3D shapes with colourful patterns" was a little dated (and "badly done at the time"), but Gauthier-Leblanc says they recognised some real potential with the early designs.

 Gauthier-Leblanc didn't want to be directly influenced by Marvel, and instead aimed to draw inspiration from the '80s and '90s and head in their own stylistic direction rather than directly copying from the source material. The creative direction, particularly for the environments, stems from "old 3D art from the '90s" using "simple shapes with colourful patterns".

Marvel supported developer Eidos Montreal's ideas, but earlier plans for some character designs in particular were received sceptically. "We had a fat Drax. Our first version of Star-Lord was like a cosmonaut, with almost a full cosmonaut suit," Gauthier-Leblanc recalls. "And we had a human-size Rocket, which was weird. So, yeah, we scared the hell out of them the first time."

By the second pitch, both Marvel and Eidos Montreal had reached a mutual understanding in their respective ideas. Gamora was described by senior narrative director Mary DeMarle as the biggest challenge, voicing that "for the longest time, we were struggling to really understand Gamora. She's the deadliest woman in the galaxy – but what does that mean?"

Ultimately, after the Guardians were complete, the studio had the perfect idea to assemble them: the huddle mechanic. Audio director Steve Szczepowski and creative director Jean-François Dugas realised that Star-Lord's identity and strength centred around music. "The idea was that Star-Lord would be a bit cheesy and actually pass off some of the song lyrics as his own," composer Richard Jacques says. "Then we have this chant that I wrote that [plays] underneath it to really pump the team up, and the whole thing comes together and really embodies who Star-Lord is." 

To learn more about the making of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, you can check out the feature in full in Edge #374, available right now via Magazines Direct.

Rosie Guenther
Freelance Writer

Rosie is a writer and avid gamer of 6 years; she is a particular fan of RPG games, playing mainly on Nintendo Switch and PC. She is currently working towards an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. 

With contributions from