With each new Marvel Studios release, fans are not only eager to dig into whatever solo adventure is on display, but also to see how the film connects to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. The recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier serves as a prequel of sorts to Avengers: Age of Ultron, setting up the story for Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated ensemble sequel. We still have one Marvel film left to go before Age of Ultron hits theaters in 2015, but it’s looking more and more like Guardians of the Galaxy will be more removed from the immediate MCU than the other films—at least for now.
In the latest issue of EW, Guardians writer/director James Gunn spoke a bit about the film, confirming that big baddie Thanos will indeed appear in motion-capture form, and teasing that the pic very much connects to Avengers 3. Read Gunn’s full comments after the jump, along with a few new images from the unabashedly weird-looking Guardians of the Galaxy.
While speaking with EW (via CBM), Gunn confirmed that Thanos will indeed appear in Guardians of the Galaxy via motion-capture, describing him as the “head of the snake.” The first (and last) time we saw the character was in the tag at the end of The Avengers, and many assumed he’d be the big baddie in Avengers 2. Instead, Whedon settled on Ultron as the antagonist for that film, but it sure is sounding like Guardians will set Thanos up as the major connective tissue between the Guardians of the Galaxy characters and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Gunn teased which MCU film Guardians connects to:
“[Guardians of the Galaxy] is definitely connected to Avengers 3.”
We’ve seen hints of the “Infinity Stones” (thus far confirmed to be the tesseract and that weird aether from Thor: The Dark World) in previous Marvel films, and in the comics Thanos collects all of the stones in order to power the Infinity Gauntlet, which gives him almost unstoppable power. With the addition of an orb in Guardians (seen in the image above), it sure is looking like Marvel is building towards the Infinity Gauntlet storyline in Avengers 3, which would very much necessitate the Avengers teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to battle the other-worldly antagonist.
But Avengers 3 is still a ways off with no confirmed release date, and first up we have our introduction to the Guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy late this summer. During his interview with EW, Gunn discussed the origins of the film’s characters and their connection to Thanos:
“[Star-Lord] was abducted from Earth (Missouri) at age 8 and raised in a group of thieves and smuggles called the Ravagers. He’s good with the ladies and a little bit of a dick and very lucky. Thanos slaughtered [Gamora's] family and Nebula’s, then raised them together as siblings. They were bio engineered to become living weapons, so he’s really good at killing people.”
So again, while Guardians of the Galaxy may not closely connect with the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will very likely provide the glue that will coalesce in Phase Three to build towards Avengers 3. The only Phase Three films confirmed thus far are Ant-Man in July 2015 and Captain America 3 in May 2016, but we expect Marvel to announce the remaining films at Comic-Con this summer.
Check out the other new Guardians image below, courtesy Gunn’s Twitter. Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1st.