Guardians of the Galaxy is the riskiest film that Marvel has in the works since the film adaptation of Iron Man in 2008. The first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe received a lot of criticism and worry from movie studios and Internet pundits because Iron Man and Tony Stark weren’t household names. There was no telling how audiences would react to a movie like Iron Man. Luckily for Marvel and comic book fans, general audiences fell in love with the metal-suited billionaire superhero. Can Marvel see that same type of success with Guardians of the Galaxy? Marvel comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis would like to think so.
In an interview with Total Film, the writer responsible for the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book reboot in 2008 offered up his view of the situation with the new film adaptation. Bendis believes audiences will be surprised with Guardians of the Galaxy, like they were with Iron Man. After audiences see what Marvel is planning to do with the cosmic superhero team, they’ll understand their plan and how it fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Phase II. Bendis contends:
“The movie may not seem like an obvious choice on the surface, but once you see what the plan is, you’ll say ‘oh yeah, I totally see that.’ I mean, people said the same thing with Iron Man. If you remember, you guys were worried, (‘I don’t know, Iron Man’s not a household name like Spider-Man,’) and then that all went away when the movie came out.”
Bendis continued to say that the success of Guardians of the Galaxy will come from its eccentric and strange, but relatable characters, namely Rocket Raccoon and Groot. As previously noted, the alien pair will be the emotional center of the new film. Bendis continued:
“Here’s the cool thing about the Guardians,” he said. “There are a lot of fantastical elements, like Rocket Raccoon and Groot. I mean, initially you go, ‘hey, that’s pretty funny.’ But what surprises you is how much you end up caring about them. If the Guardians fail, it affects the Earth.”
Brian Michael Bendis also noted that the film’s main character Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) would be the audiences’ entry point into the new movie. Star-Lord has one of the most sympathetic origin stories since Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne; it’s just that his origin story isn’t as well known. Bendis explained:
“He’s like Peter Parker and Luke Skywalker. He’s an everyman with a very specific destiny in front of him. A lot of people don’t know his origin story or what his deal is – literally his origin is stuffed in the back of a ’70s comic. Once you find it, you go ‘well that’s about as good an origin story as anybody,’ that’s up there with Superman and Spider-Man. He gets himself into outer space and tries to figure out who he really is, tales off to do what he thinks is right for the Galaxy and meets up with all these other interesting characters.”
Lastly, Brian Michael Bendis was asked how he felt now that Marvel was making movies from their science fiction catalog with Guardians of the Galaxy. Bendis responded:
“My argument is that almost every Marvel comic is a sci-fi comic. It all feels to me on some level like science fiction, but my favourite kind of science fiction is the character stuff. And Guardians of the Galaxy allows that – the characters are fascinating, the‘re broken, they’re struggling, they’re trying desperately to do right even though the odds are against them.”
It will be interesting to see how Guardians of the Galaxy will turn out and how general audiences will accept the cosmic peacekeepers. As casting continues, it looks like Marvel is making some smart moves with the actors, including Zoë Saldaña, Chris Pratt, and Dave Batista, who would appear in the new film. James Gunn has a great sensibility with comedy and action, and the source material has high quality written all over it, but it would be just so strange to see it on the big screen.
Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014, in 3D. Watch Superhero Origins: Guardians of the Galaxy below: