“Guardians of the Galaxy” is going to play a key role in phase two of Marvel’s quest for cinematic world domination. It’s definitely something of a departure from their traditional superhero fare, but the adaptation is shaping up to be a damn fine time. Marvel president Kevin Feige sat down with EW to talk about some of the story and character choice. The interview also delivered a new bit of concept art from director James Gunn’s (“Slither”) film.
The image shows a young Peter Quill, who ultimately becomes Star-Lord (and who will be played by Chris Pratt), having his very first close encounter on Earth. He leads a misfit crew of cosmic law and order types. While there isn’t much known about this particular craft, it isn’t the ship from the comic—a sentient craft that goes by the name “Ship” and has something of a crush on Star-Lord.
Feige acknowledges that “Guardians” takes place in the same world as the previous Marvel films like “Iron Man” and “The Avengers”, simply in another part of it. He says:
“Guardians” takes place within the continuity of the [other movies] but it’s on the other side of the universe…We’ve always wanted to do a space movie. I’m obsessed with “Star Wars”, I’m obsessed with “Star Trek”.
This is a story that involves a talking tree, a green-skinned assassin, an anthropomorphized raccoon, and more. Feige notes that they’re not going to skimp on the bizarre elements that make “Guardians” such a cult favorite. He even claims that Rocket Raccoon “will steal the whole movie.”
Pratt may seem like a strange choice to take the lead in a major sci-fi picture, he’s not exactly the dashing hero type, and Feige also dishes on why they went with him as Star-Lord.
He’s a hilariously frumpy, doofy guy in “Parks and Rec”, and he’s an incredibly kickass ripped guy in Zero Dark Thirty and that’s pretty awesome…He’s going to need that in “Guardians.” That’s a big range right there.
After deciding on Pratt, his presence also helped them round out the rest of the cast. There were lots of auditions, including a well publicized courting of Jason Momoa, but professional wrestler Dave Bautista landed the role of Drax the Destroyer. Feige says, “One of the reasons Bautista got the part was because his banter, and ad libs, and screen tests with Pratt were awesome.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy” also stars Zoe Saldana as Gomorra, Lee Pace as the bad guy, Michael Rooker as Yondu, and Ophelia Lovibond as an assistant to The Collector. Filming is scheduled to begin in June, with an eye on an August 1, 2014 release.