Marvel’s biggest challenge in Phase Two is Guardians of the Galaxy. All of the other films are direct sequels, so not only does Guardians have to bring in five new characters, but it’s also the oddest assortment yet. Led by half-human, half-alien Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), the team is comprised of humanoid aliens Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a gun-wielding, talking Raccoon appropriately named “Rocket Raccoon”, and Groot, a giant, walking tree. Marvel has earned the faith of audiences, and this is where it will be tested. But President of Production Kevin Feige isn’t worried. “We can take it to all those crazy places as long as all the characters respond in an emotionally truthful way,” he tells EW.
Hit the jump for what else Feige about the film had to say as well as a new piece of concept art. The film also stars Michael Rooker, Ophelia Lovibond, and Lee Pace. Guardians of the Galaxy opens in 3D on August 1, 2014.
According to EW, the concept art “is not the ship from the comic books that goes by the name “Ship” -– a sentient spacecraft with a feminine persona who has a kind of crush on Star-Lord.” That doesn’t mean “Ship” won’t be in the movie, and director James Gunn has always embraced twisted comedy. Guardians probably won’t allow him to go to the dark places of his previous films Super and Slither, but it definitely sounds like there will be a comic bent to the story. Feige says, “[Pratt] was hilarious, he was moving, he was … you bought him in the early versions of the outfit,” and they casted Bautista because “his banter, and ad libs, and screen tests with Pratt were awesome.”
But more than anything, the movie will be unafraid to give the show over to the talking raccoon and fighting tree. Feige explains:
“We can take it to all those crazy places as long as all the characters respond in an emotionally truthful way. That’s why I believe people are going to respond to Chris Pratt and to an alien Zoë Saldana—because they did respond to that one time before [with Avatar]. And to a tree and a raccoon who, it is certainly our intention, will steal the whole movie.”
Director James Gunn previously noted that Rocket Raccoon is the heart of the movie, so the voice casting is going to be essential. That hasn’t been revealed yet but since filming is expected to begin next month, we should hear an announcement in the not-too-distant future.
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