You’ve probably noticed Marvel doesn’t really do one-offs. Characters move between franchises, come together for team efforts, break off for their own solo ventures, and the whole thing creates a larger picture where, even when you’re watching one hero or set of heroes, you know there are many other stories happening at the same time. Given this overarching connectivity, we all knew going in that we’ll be seeing more from the Guardians of the Galaxy team in the future. We’re still more than a month away from the release, but that’s not going to stop people from talking about sequels and continuing adventures. To whet your appetite for the film, as if that’s necessary, there is also a detailed description of some footage that recently screened. And it sounds awesome.
Disney was recently at CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spent some time discussing the ever-expanding universe they’re putting together. When asked about potential future plotlines—which seems redundant since we don’t even know the plot for this movie—he didn’t get into specifics, but tell Total Film that the entire history of the Guardians, which goes back to the 1960s and was revamped in the 80s, is open to be mined. He noted, “[T]here are a lot of other characters and worlds and stories. So should this film work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take it and we have ideas of where we’d like to go with it.”
At the end of The Avengers, fans got their first introduction to Thanos, also known as “The Mad Titan,” a notorious villain that will figure prominently into the storylines as the Marvel Cinematic Universe moves further and further out into deep space. Now played by Josh Brolin, he is set to cast an ominous shadow over this film, as well as future endeavors, becoming a force to be reckoned with before long. Feige said, “We learn a little bit more about him in this movie…and he—and his band of followers—is the biggest piece of connective tissue that will eventually lead us back into Avengers films in the future.” We’ve heard that he won’t be particularly present in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that he’ll be a significant factor beyond that film.
Also at CineEurpoe, Disney screened some footage from the James Gunn-directed Guardians, and though we weren’t fortunate to be there to see it for ourselves, this description, also from Total Film, makes what they saw sound incredible. It should go without saying that there are SPOILERS beyond this point, so you may want to bow out if you’re looking to avoid such things.
In many of the trailers we’ve seen, Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, aka Peter Jason Quill, leader of the team comprised of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel), encounters Korath (Djimon Hounsou), a kind of intergalactic bounty hunter. Star-Lord attempts to escape, which apparently doesn’t go well at all.
His escape was clearly not all that successful, as the next clip we were shown had Quill being flung into prison, alongside the others that will go on to make up his team in the future: Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Over the course of prison sequence, Rocket was something of a standout, with Cooper adopting a not-hugely-recognisable drawl for the cute-but-deadly trouble-maker. He’s the one who’s scheming up a plan to get the gang out of prison, although he’s not averse to winging it or throwing a curveball as and when the situation dictates. There’s also a hint at what makes Rocket such an angry little fella. As the gang are being processed into the prison, Quill is stripped down to his briefs and blasted with red gunk (showing off the six-pack that got so much attention after it was glimpsed in the trailer). He spies Rocket, also clothesless (but, y’know, covered in fur) and sees metal nodes that are attached to the little guy’s back, a reminder of the genetic experimentation he’s been subjected to.
While this all sounds pretty great, the most interesting bit is the quick little peek at the origins of Rocket. You definitely start to see why he is so angry all of the time. But he’s not the only one who makes a big first impression.
Also standing out was Groot, a tree-being who can grow and alter his shape at will, as the situation requires (at one point an arm is puffed into a bunch of twigs to use as protection against machine-gun fire, and he can also extend his height to reach important items). He also steps up to defend Quill from the attention of a hulking space-brute, lifting the aggressor skyward via his nostrils. And, even in the limited footage we saw, there was a good sense of the range that Groot gets out of the only three words he can speak: ‘I am Groot.’
How can you go wrong with an eight-foot-tall alien tree? This is just one of the bizarre flourishes that makes Guardians look and sound like so much fun. The film also promises to be action packed and full of a sarcastic sense of humor that sounds perfectly suited for Gunn’s sensibilities, and is something that we haven’t seen out of many Marvel movies thus far.
The choreography of the whole sequence was impressive, not only in how it juggled the roles of the Guardians, but also the innovative action itself (particularly when a sneaky bit of hot-wiring by Rocket renders the prisons anti-gravity tech useless…) and the ever-present humour.
One of the characters we heard a lot about early on, but who has been eclipsed as the process has gone one, is Yondu, a blue-skinned alien archer played by Michael Rooker. This next bit offers some insight into his role, as well as how he fits into the larger framework of the movie.
Following that escape sequence, we were also shown an excerpt from later scene, when Quill is being held captive on Yondu’s (Michael Rooker) ship. Quill was brought up by Yondu’s people, as evidenced in their red leather garb: the same type Quill was sporting at the beginning of the film. We didn’t see enough of Rooker’s performance to get a true sense of the character, but he looked awesome, with bright blue skin and a red mohawk. The scene took a sudden shift when Rocket appeared to ‘save the day’ in a particularly unsubtle manner, with some ridiculously heavyhanded negotiating tactics. His failed attempt at a rescue leads the entire group to be taken hostage. “I didn’t have time to work out the minutiae of the plan,” he grumbles.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens everywhere August 1.