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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy movie: A Down-and-dirty Roundtable

Posted by msunyata on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The 2012 San Diego Comic-Con has now concluded, but when the geeks were assembled in Hall H last Saturday evening, that's when things really got interesting. Marvel Studios took to the stage and laid bare its plans for the next two years of superhero cinematic adventures.

We now know – officially – that Iron Man 3 will feature some variation of the Extremis suit and that the Mandarin is the nemesis (and that the movie won’t feature the incredible Hulk, sadly); that the second Thor and Captain America entries will be called The Dark World and The Winter Soldier, respectively; and that the studio’s second 2014 picture – which has been announced but kept secret for the past year or two – is none other than the long-rumored (and -debated) Guardians of the Galaxy.

The only problem with this last announcement, of course, is that – at least, upon first glance – it goes so much against the grain of the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; whereas director Jon Favreau and President of Production Kevin Feige worked so hard to create a sense of realism with the opening salvo of films, Guardians will feature a talking, sniping raccoon from outer space whose teammates include a tree and a sentient planet.  It’s hard to get more – ahem – surreal than this.

This is easily the riskiest undertaking by Marvel yet.  Or is it?  It could very well be that, after the intergalactic bent of the uber-popular Avengers, this is a shoe-in for success, as well.

Quite honestly, it’s hard to tell.  That’s why we need our own roster of superpowered journalists and comic geeks alike to suss out the beautiful from the bold… even if the conversation started out as something just for nerdy kicks before ultimately taking a turn for publication.

 

Marc N. Kleinhenz, free-ranging beast:

So… Guardians of the Galaxy, huh?

 

Brant Fowler, ComicRelated.com overlord:

I'm pretty psyched about that.  Best news for me out of Comic-Con.  That and the confirmation of Winter Soldier.

 

Patrick Sauriol, Coming Attractions slave driver:

My biggest concern is that there’s a talking space raccoon with a gun.  DC Comics eventually felt embarrassment about their Green Lantern that looked like an alien squirrel, so they killed him off.  Marvel’s not there.  In fact, they’re embracing it.
 
I spent some time explaining this insane level of geekdom to my wife yesterday and came away with three conclusions:  either Marvel thinks that they are underestimating the breaking point of the general pop’s suspense of disbelief when it comes to superhero universes; that there isn’t a problem with having a space raccoon movie; or that they’ve come up with some post-modern, tongue-in-cheek way of pulling the ridiculous concept off.  I don’t know what one it’ll be, but it’ll be fun to make popcorn and watch it unfold.

 

Marc N. Kleinhenz, free-ranging beast:

I am utterly unfamiliar with the comic, so when reading the news story, I thought it was an animated movie.

But it's not, is it...?

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy movie concept artwork

 

 

Rob Keyes, ScreenRant.com nerd:

The idea of a raccoon with a gun is crazy, but the character in the books is badass.  He'll be the fan-fave of the Guardians team.

Anyone see the Ant-Man footage?  Has some cool potential as a SHIELD agent.

Btw, is anyone here at SDCC?  I covered all the Hall H stuff yesterday, and, right now, I'm in press room 27AB.

 

Marc N. Kleinhenz, free-ranging beast:

Jerk.

 

Brant Fowler, ComicRelated.com overlord:

Marc, no, it's live-action.  I think Thanos ties into it, possibly appearing there first and then leading into Avengers 2, but I could be wrong.

I loved what Marvel did with the cosmic corner of titles, starting with Annihilation on, and I was sad to see all those books canceled.  Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning made all those characters cool again.

As for the talking raccoon with a gun, let's not forget the (barely) talking tree in that cast, as well.  Then there's Drax, a green alien-made creature whose sole purpose is to kill Thanos.

I think it will be forgivable because these characters are aliens and it will be a cosmic story.  Now, if they pop up in Avengers 2, that might be a stretch.  I think they'll use it as a way to introduce Thanos, though.

And no, I wish I were at SDCC.  We've been doing our usual “we're not there” coverage on ComicRelated.com.  Heh.

 

Rob Keyes, ScreenRant.com nerd:

Yes, Guardians is live-action, and they showed the concept art for the five main characters at the presentation.

Not to make you guys feel bad, but it was the biggest movie day in Comic-Con history with WB then Marvel going all out.

Trust me on Guardians – they're going to have a super-awesome cast of likable actors, and the team dynamic and style will sell it.

 

Marc N. Kleinhenz, free-ranging beast:

I wonder if Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World will tie into this movie somehow; after all, it was Iron Man 2 that made the first Thor all the more “believable” for audiences, myself (and my wife) included.  I don't want to see the next two movies suffer for the (forced?) inclusion, but, then again, Marvel might be taking a huuuge risk by just introducing anthropomorphic characters cold turkey.

 

Patrick Sauriol, Coming Attractions slave driver:

I’ve never read any Guardians books and never had any interest in the team or concept, so I can’t directly comment on the character in real detail, just on my first impressions of seeing the Rambo raccoon.

But I know that just about any crazy idea can be pulled off if it’s properly presented and executed.  That, however, is the key, and you need a very strong vision from the creator to execute this.  Judge Death could’ve been a lame idea, the Ghostbusters could’ve been hokey, and all of Star Wars could have been a joke if a strong creative belief in this world or the characters in it weren’t followed by the key creative team.

On a comic book, you don’t have too many chefs in the kitchen.  Like I said, I haven’t read GotG and don’t know Rocket Raccoon, but I’ve heard the same positive endorsement from other GotG fans like Rob that he’s a badass and a lot of fun.  The problem is if you don’t get someone with that vision to buy into the GotG movie, and they’re writing/directing/starring in it, then the end result is disappointment.

Look at the way the Hulk is presented in The Avengers, and then compare the same character to the way he’s seen in Ang Lee’s movie and the Louis Leterrier movie.  All of the stuff I’ve read and heard about Hulk in Avengers is that Whedon “got” the character. I’ve read the Hulk comic for years, and I know that the raging green Hulk is just the tip of the iceberg to the complexity of the character, but that doesn’t matter to the gen pop; what mattered is that Joe and Jane Public’s expectations for the character were fulfilled.  Sometimes it works when you follow in step and build upon pre-conceived expectations like that, and sometimes it works to shatter those expectations when there’s not enough personal baggage people have for the character.

This is a risky movie for Marvel to make.  Maybe there is a lot more world-building being done behind the scenes that we’re not privy to, but at first blush, it seems like an even riskier gamble than making a Thor movie filled with Norse gods and magic and strange armor costumes.  They need to find very specific people to pull this one off.

 

Marc N. Kleinhenz, free-ranging beast:

Joss Whedon?  =)

 

Patrick Sauriol, Coming Attractions slave driver:

I heard the dude’s busy writing Star Wars: Episode VII, producing Firefly vs. Aliens, and directing Blade Runner 2.

 

Marc N. Kleinhenz, free-ranging beast:

I think you just started, like, 16 rumors there.

 

Rob Keyes, ScreenRant.com nerd:

It is absolutely a risky move to make, but The Avengers and its success has given Marvel (and merchandising-friendly parent company Disney) the opportunity to explore any part of their Marvel library so there's no better time to try, especially since this can blow open the cosmic side of the universe - something Marvel Pres Kevin Feige has been vocal about for years.

The argument about moviegoers not knowing/reading the books or a character being too "extreme" doesn't fly in this day and age. The average moviegoer did not read or know Iron Man; Thor was a dude with a cape and hammer who travels via a rainbow bridge, and we just saw footage of a dude literally named "Ant-Man" which proves that it can work. The only thing that matters is if the creators (and talent on screen) pull off an entertaining product and we're only going to be able to know that when we see a trailer.

What we do know is that most actors in Hollywood are begging for a chance to be a part of Marvel's franchise and I can just see it now, fan-favorites from shows like Game of Thrones (as one example), and an incredible voice actor doing the raccoon. It sounds crazy but if they get an ambitious and knowledgeable director (see: Joss Whedon) anything's possible and it's safe to say, there will be some connections and cameos to the other films.

We must give credit that they're willing to do this. And if anyone can at this point, is it not them and The Avengers franchise?
 

moxfactor
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Posted: 9 years 43 weeks ago

 oh?  I've heard that Joss was making Serenity vs Moya: Battle of the Coolest Crews evar.  the epic battle would be between Aeryn and River.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 43 weeks ago

It's cool that Marvel is pursuing this. I figured Green Lantern's box office performance had scared them off.

Quasar
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Posted: 9 years 43 weeks ago

I have to assume this is only being made because it ties into The Avengers, and because a promise was made that 90% of all marketing would focus on that.

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