Marvel Studios will release two comic book movies in 2014, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. The latter film promises to be different than anything the studio has produced to date. While audiences and fans were wowed with movies like The Avengers and Iron Man 3, some worry that the Marvel movie formula could get tedious if producer Kevin Feige doesn’t change things up. Guardians of the Galaxy definitely marks a departure within Marvel’s brand, delivering something that is definitely your typical comic book movie.
Guardians’ associate producer Jonathan Schwartz thinks it will be a marked improvement of the formula. It’s a different movie in the respect that its entire look and feel is unlike anything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The roots sink deep into the pulpy sci-fi flicks of the 1950s. Schwartz explained:
When James Gunn came aboard he brought a completely unique visual sensibility to it, harkening back to pulpy ’50s science fiction…One of the things that he mentioned in his original pitch was that science fiction as we understand it has become greyer and sleeker and blacker and darker, this kind of Blade Runner world. We all love Blade Runner but that’s not all that science fiction can be, so the world that you’re going to see in Guardians of the Galaxy is colorful and bright and pulpy, but it’s also lived-in and grounded. And finding the balance between those two things is what’s driving a lot of this universe.
While Guardians will be a “colorful and bright and pulpy” movie, it may prove to be a tough sell for general audiences. Despite Marvel’s global popularity and success, we’re not talking about a widely known property. Feige also talked to SFX Magazine about the new movie’s uphill battle to find an audience. He explained:
There’s definitely a comparison to be made between Iron Man & Guardians of the Galaxy because it’s easy to forget that Iron Man was not well known when that first film came out. Back then I had to spend a lot time explaining to people that Iron Man is not a robot and he’s actually a person and a scientist, who builds this suit. He doesn’t fly like Superman; he has to obey the laws of physics. Likewise with Guardians of the Galaxy; it’s based on a comic that has a certain following but nobody should feel bad if they’ve never heard of it because we’re expecting that most people haven’t.
Recently, Gunn talked about the importance of Rocket Raccoon in the film. A master marksman and tactician, the alien raccoon is also the heart and soul of the story, and the team’s most sympathetic member. It will be interesting to hear Bradley Cooper lend his voice the furry little space critter.
Guardians of the Galaxy follows Peter Quill, a half-human/half-alien who is the target of a manhunt after he steals a mysterious orb, believed to be one of the Infinity Gems, from the Ronan the Accuser. In order to escape, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a group of cosmic misfits that includes Rocket, Gamora, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill learns of the orb’s true power, he must rally his new team to save the galaxy from a mysterious new threat.
The new cosmic comic book movie stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Benicio del Toro, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Olivia Lovibond, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close, and hits theaters everywhere on August 1.