Over the past month, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy went from the most curious property from the comic book studio to perhaps the most anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two movie. Guardians earned a lot of the good will with a stellar sizzle reel at San Diego Comic-Con this past July. The crowd in Hall H was excited to see what director James Gunn could do with the team of intergalactic peacekeepers, and the appearance of the film’s entire cast went a long way toward building anticipation for Marvel’s cosmic superhero movie.
Guardians‘ cast is definitely unique, and one of the most diverse in any movie from Marvel Studios. One of the more recent additions is Benin-born actor Djimon Hounsou, who will be playing Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy. He recently talked to Collider, where he mentioned his son’s comments about the lack of diversity in the big-screen comic-book movies that are raking in the box office cash these days. Hounsou says:
The lack of diversity, specifically in genre films and the superheroes our kids grow up watching and emulating, they can’t really identify with. When you see the same thing, over and over again, and it seems not to speak of you and your heritage and your culture, it leaves you out of this world, a little bit. It gives a certain social distance with your world. So, it was very shocking when my son said that. It shocked me, but at the same time, it was not a surprise. It’s one of those things that even I have been looking for. I’m looking for a hero of my kind, and I’m looking for a shero of my kind. Now, we have Zoe Saldana, who is a shero for minorities, and that’s nice.
As a minority myself, I can completely identify with Hounsou’s observations about the lack of diversity in genre movies. One of the reasons why I love The Fast and The Furious franchise is its multi-ethnic cast and its amazing action sequences. If Guardians of the Galaxy can tap into what made The Fast and The Furious so successful, there’s no reason why Guardians of the Galaxy shouldn’t be one of Marvel’s most successful and profitable films.
Hounsou also talks about the visual world director James Gunn is creating in Guardians of the Galaxy. With very early reports suggesting that 95% of the film will take place in outer space, it’s interesting to hear what the actors’ experiences on the film are like. To hear Hounsou tell it, it sounds like everyone is playing in a massive sci-fi sandbox.
It comes from a world that we are completely creating, from the ground up, and conceptualizing, from the group up. So, it can go any kind of way. Guardians of the Galaxy is a completely different world. It has no place in this world. Even for us, coming to set and looking at it, you go, ‘Wow!’ Every other day, you feel like you’re in a different part of the galaxy. You don’t feel like you’re on planet Earth. We’re mostly on a soundstage, but some sets were built on the outside. We’re in a space world. It’s pretty cool. It’s really fun.
Guardians recently added actor Gregg Henry to its growing cast. Henry announced his addition to the Marvel movie on his Twitter account, and he will soon be leaving for London, England to join the film’s production. Although Henry’s character hasn’t been revealed yet, there is some fan speculation that suggests he might be playing Adam Warlock, a former member of the Guardians team.
— Gregg Henry (@GreggHenry88) August 19, 2013
Henry has worked with Gunn several times in the past. He appeared in Gunn’s Slither in 2006 and Super in 2011. Aside from Gunn’s movies, Henry is a character actor notable for roles in flicks such as Payback and The Black Dahlia.
Gunn has described Guardians of the Galaxy as the story of “a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.” [Very Farscape of them. – Ed.] Guardians of the Galaxy will also feature Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Benicio del Toro, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Olivia Lovibond, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close as Nova Prime.
Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014, in 3D.