Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel Studios’ first entry into a larger cosmic universe. If the fourth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two is a hit with general audiences, there’s no telling how deep Marvel can dig into their comic book canon for future movies. But while the movie was described early on as being in the vein of Star Wars, Marvel producer Kevin Feige recently said that that comparison isn’t quite right.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Feige says that they’re not making Marvel’s version of Star Wars with Guardians of the Galaxy. That description originated with comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, and Guardians director James Gunn has also compared the movie’s human lead, Star-Lord, as a mix between Peter Parker and Luke Skywalker. On the other hand, Feige says:
We’re not making this to make Marvel’s Star Wars. We’re doing this to explore the other side of the existing Marvel Universe. The fact that Peter Quill is a human from our time, that he carries a personal cassette recorder with him, already it’s very different. It’s not a long, time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s now in a galaxy far, far away.
Early concept art from Guardians of the Galaxy featured the team seated around a table in a crowded space bar (see above). The image was very reminiscent of the iconic Mos Eisley Cantina from the original Star Wars movie. Along with Bendis’ and Gunn’s comments, it’s easy to understand why the Star Wars comparisons have been rampant. There are certainly worse things to be compared to than one of the most popular science fiction movies of all time. [Even if Farscape comparisons might be even more apt. – Ed.]
It’s pretty exciting to think about how big the Marvel Cinematic Universe will become with Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel’s plan to extend the film series beyond Earth had already begun with Thor and Avengers, but Guardians will take it to the next level. Plus, there’s still the Mad Titan Thanos to be dealt with at some point.
Marvel Studios recently cast actor Bradley Cooper to voice the role of Rocket Raccoon. This casting was probably one of the most anticipated of the entire movie lineup. Rocket Raccoon is a fan-favorite, and according to James Gunn, the emotional center of the film. The casting was a bit of a surprise. It’s not like Bradley Cooper screams “put me in a comic book movie,” but it’s less controversial than DC casting Ben Affleck as the new Batman.
James Gunn describes the story of Guardians as being about “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.” The Marvel movie will star Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Benicio del Toro, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, 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.