‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Character Motivations & Plot Hints from Kevin Feige

Published 2 years ago by

Guardians of the Galaxy Character Roster Concept Art Line up Guardians of the Galaxy Character Motivations & Plot Hints from Kevin Feige

The Comic-Con trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy revealed to an excited audience that the titular heroes are, in the opinion of some at least, “a bunch of a-holes.” For those who haven’t read the comics, however, this assessment doesn’t give too much away, and with such a strange and diverse cast of characters coming together in what might be Marvel Studios’ oddest movie yet, it’s worth trying to get to know them a little better.

Though two of the cast members are still (officially) unconfirmed, Guardians of the Galaxy now has actors pencilled in for every role. Parks and Recreation star Chris Pratt, who underwent an impressive training regime to get into shape, will play Peter Quill AKA Star Lord. Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) also changed quite dramatically for the film, shaving her head entirely to play the space pirate, Nebula. Zoe Saldana (Avatar) is going green as Gamora, as is Dave Bautista for the role of Drax the Destroyer. Vin Diesel (Riddick) is strongly rumored to be voicing anthropomorphic tree Groot, and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) is in talks to do the same for the small-but-deadly Rocket Raccoon.

With the crew more or less assembled, director James Gunn has already started filming Guardians of the Galaxy in London (we’ve seen the set photos to prove it), and Marvel “puppet master” Kevin Feige has offered a few more details about our new heroes. Speaking to Empire Magazine, Feige gave a brief profile for each of the main characters, and also for the villains:

“They are an unlikely band. It’s pure circumstance that brings them all together throughout the course of the movie. Rocket has been genetically and mechanically altered, he’s an experiment from one part of the galaxy.

“Groot is a species that happens to look like trees look, and is quite communicative if you can understand the different inflections in the way he says, ‘I am Groot.’

“Peter Quill left Earth in the mid ’80s, but when we meet back up with him he’s very much a citizen of the universe.

“Drax has one goal and one goal only, which is to kill Ronan because of a past tragedy.

“When we meet Gamora, she’s a bad guy working with Ronan and Nebula and Korath, and by extension for Thanos. Gamora doesn’t necessarily like doing that anymore, and tries to find a new path for herself. But she has a reputation as the deadliest woman in the galaxy, [so] people aren’t greeting her with open arms.

“Ronan The Accuser is very much the main bad guy. And Thanos is lurking above it all. You will learn more about Thanos in Guardians, for sure. Certainly you’ll get more than the one turn around and smirk. You’ll get much more than that!”

A turn around and a smirk was all that fans got at the end of The Avengers, in which it was revealed that Thanos has a hand in Loki’s attempted takeover of Earth. The message coming from Marvel producers and directors at the moment is that Thanos is going to be teased repeatedly throughout Phase Two, but probably won’t become a primary antagonist until Phase Three. Director Joss Whedon has explained that the villain of The Avengers 2 will be Ultron rather than Thanos because, “Thanos was never meant to be the next villain. He’s always been the overlord of villainy & darkness.”

Guardians of the galaxy concept art Guardians of the Galaxy Character Motivations & Plot Hints from Kevin Feige

Vin Diesel fans might be disappointed to hear that, if officially cast, the Fast & Furious star will probably only get to say “I am Groot,” which is Groot’s trademark phrase – and indeed the only phrase he ever utters – in the comics. His suitability to the role, however, can be seen in the 1999 animated film The Iron Giant, in which Diesel also played an otherworldly character with a very limited vocabulary, and did a fine job of it.

Unlike the Avengers, who are approached because they are considered to be Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Feige’s description of the Guardians gives the impression that they are brought together as a band of outcasts who don’t quite fit in anywhere else. Sounds like an excellent recipe for a team, and it’s always fun to see characters from very different backgrounds all flung together.

Which character in Guardians of the Galaxy are you most excited to see brought to life on the big screen?


Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theaters on August 1st, 2014.

Source: Empire Magazine (via Screen Crush)

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Take note of the facf that Feige says Drax is after Ronan for a past tragedy– not Thanos. This implies that Drax’s origin will be slightly altered. Even though this small change will likely mean no difference character-wise, let’s get all up in arms about in anyway. Hate for a movie that’s a year away from being released activate!

    • fact*

    • I think it was because making his only purpose being to kill Thanos would imply that he had too much power and also because they have no intention of killing off Thanos… nor should they.

      • They have no intention of killing off Ronan either. Lee Pace signed a multi-picture deal, not to mention Ronan is supposed to become a hero. Drax HAS to be the one to destroy Thanos in Avengers 3. It would be epic, and it doesn’t even have to be the end of Thanos, he’s died several times. Drax has always been defined by Thanos, it makes no sense to change it now, even though they’re setting up Thanos to be the main puppet master of the series. This stuff almost writes itself, why do they have to change it?

        • I guess Marvel is thinking bigger picture and has something else planned.

        • and thats just it. your plot idea writes itself. if marvel wants to get people into theaters they have to do something exciting and new with old plots.

        • @Deathballs, I totally agree with you on the fact that they shouldn’t of changed Drax’s purpose for living; to kill Thanos. Tbh it doesn’t make sense for it to be Ronan as the end product.

          However I disagree with you on it being Drax to kill Thanos in Avengers 3. It should be more of Drax killing Thanos before Avengers 3 and then Thanos comes back stronger for Avengers 3.

          • I’m betting that Drax believes he’s meant to kill Ronan, and eventually discovers it’s Thanos in his destiny.

            • That doesn’t make any sense. Drax has be programed to kill Thanos. He didn’t make it a choice.

              • if you read the comics, you know that there were times when he wasn’t sure who he was after or even what his purpose was. It’s not hard to come up with a scenario where he thinks one person is his target and a realization comes that there’s something else out there waiting for him.

                There you go. Makes sense.

                • Yeah and during those times, Thanos was dead. During Annihilation, he killed Thanos. After Thanos’ death, Drax was in a state of not knowing what to do with himself. He was a being without a purpose. Then when Thanos came back, he was hellbent on killing Thanos again. However the Cancerverse did making the killing drive stronger.

                  • Yes. It illustrates perfectly that there are various scenarios and variables that could work when constructing a story for the marvel movieverse.

                    • Smh but you said, “Drax believes he’s meant to kill Ronan.” The key word is “believe.” To believe in something, is to make a choice.

                      In the comics, Drax never made the choice to believe he’s meant to kill Thanos. To kill Thanos was his purpose for living. Belief has nothing to do with any of this.

                      It is after the death of Thanos, Drax is left with the ability of choice. Something he was unfamiliar with. That’s what lead him to join the Guardians of the Galaxy, officially.
                      “Officially,” bcuz you know the whole Mantis brainwashing thing kinda doesn’t count.

                      However you can say, after he kills Ronan in the movie. He decides to stick with the Guardians to kill Thanos too. That is a possible scenarios but I don’t see them killing off Ronan just yet.

            • That doesn’t make any sense. Drax has *been* programed to kill Thanos. He didn’t make it a choice.

      • I think they are going to make Thanos more mysterious. Is Gamora still his daughter, I wonder??

    • it’s funny you bring that up. while reading my email update/replies, i kept seeing people refer to changes as being a slap in the face, spit it the face, whatever, to the fans; that some people feel they have “the right” to tell the creative forces how to adapt the comic books into films. just because you bought some comics doesnt give anyone the “right” to tell the film makers what they can/cannot change. it boggles my mind reading how petty people can get.
      none of the changes bother me. while i read quite a few comic books growing up, i just dont have time for that anymore, but love these films. marvel, dc, it doesnt matter. just keep making good films. thats all that matters.

      • +1

      • Well said…

      • You don’t pull on Superman’s cape;
        You don’t spit into the wind;
        You don’t poke the mask on the old Lone Ranger;
        And you don’t mess with comics canon….

        Some change is OK, but some things are a little too radical (croaking off Cyclops, Prof. X and Jean Gray; making a fake Mandarin; disappearing Hank Pym from the Ultron story, and in fact, why is he not in Avengers yet?)

        • +1

        • You are not Superman. Are you that delusional as to think you are up to that level? No.

        • Are we still on that can you just stop its been three months its time to let the iron man 3 go

        • the line is “you don’t PULL the mask off the ‘ol lone ranger…” if you’re gonna quote jim croce, get it right!
          as far as the changes go. it really doesnt matter. these are the films. they have their OWN canon. in the MCU canon, the real mandarin was killian.
          pym is not in the avengers yet because he isn’t.
          is the creator of ultron REALLY that crucial to the story? while i have not read any of these related comic books, i have read other comments about ultron that state it is unknown, for YEARS, who really created ultron, and all the speculation that it will be stark, and it’s jarvis that goes rogue, is just that. speculation. no one has confirmed anything, and i think they should keep it that way. i don’t wanna know beforehand.
          as for your x-men complaints, well, that is a different studio, but i get your point, but my point remains the same. it is the film canon. the comic book canon is still there for you to read. if you want a film to follow exactly how YOU want it, i suggest you get a raise at wallyworld, buy some film rights, and make the film YOU want to see. as for me, and 90% of the people who like the films the way they are going, i say to marvel, keep up the good work. to the other people who dont care for it, don’t watch it. it’s really that easy. nobody is forced to go see a movie. ever. that i know of. [maybe some parents were "forced" by their kids to go see the justin bieber concert movie]

    • I really hope they don’t screw up Drax, hez one of my five favorite Marvel characterz and the main reason I’m excited about this film, along with the villainz and the small probability we’ll get an Adam Warlock cameo. And Gamora, though I’m not sold on Zoe. Hopefully his goal for THIS film is to eradicate Ronan with the overall directive of killing Thanos, as was his purpose for existing. I’d also like to have Cronos acknowledged as his creator. It’d be great if Ronan detracted and joined the Guardianz or at the least became a hero rather than villain. I suppose that if Marvel has the rightz to Ronan, they also have the ability to use the Super Skrull, and if so they certainly should. He was essential during the Annihilation series and quickly became a favorite of mine. Also, they should introduce Drax’z little buddy, Cammmi.

      • Some chick is wearing a cammie? I’m in for that!

    • Maybe Drax will be going after Ronan in the beginning, but then discover that it was part of a bigger conspiracy with Thanos at the helm.

      • Thats exactly what im thinking. There will be a twist or something showing drax’s revenge plans were missguided because he didnt know the whole story or something to that effect.

      • @FunnyGuy14, I was just about to post that however it seems a little flawed. After some remembering, the entire purpose of Kronos creating Drax was solely for killing Thanos. It is in Drax’s essence to fulfill that objective; it’s his reason for being, his purpose. Revenge doesn’t drive him. This need for fulfillment drives him.

        For it to change for the movie, we will have to believe that Ronan is now apart of the Kronos bloodline as what Screenrant reported months ago. After all why would Kronos want to have Drax kill Ronan?

        However the flaw is that when he ultimately kills Ronan, why would he want to kill Thanos next? Revenge doesn’t drive Drax, he can just walk away now.

        Unless Drax will never be resurrected by Kronos and instead of Drax living to fulfill his purpose, he is now living for revenge.

        Revenge is the best motive for Drax in the movie and that will make total sense toward the bigger picture conspiracy leading to Thanos.

  2. ahhhhh…something else to read about apart from the [he who should not be named in this thread] madness. really looking forward to this film, and hopefully it will start a whole new franchise, and not just be a one-off.

    …and first :)

    • crap

      • ^^^ This made me smile.

  3. This is going to be so much fun.

    • as hank hill would say…”yup”

  4. If all Groot says is “I am Groot”, I don’t understand why Diesel would play Groot. Obviously, he doesn’t need the money and Marvel is notorious for paying many actors not a lot of money compared to their normal salaries.

    • It’s obviously because he want to be in the movie, right?

      • *wants

        Also, I think that Groot will speak in his native language throughout the film, which is basically I am Groot over and over. It’ll probably be depicted in a humorous way, at first at least.

      • And, why would he want to be in a movie when he says one line? It dies t make sense why a prominent actor would sign up for that.

        • Not sure hez a prominent actor. Also, George Clooney once voiced a dog barking for a South Park episode. I imagine if you enjoy the material then you join the cast and accept your limited role. Vin may be a fan of the Marvel Universe or may want to be a part of it, perhapz he has kidz who enjoy comicz and he can say to his Son or Daughter that he took part in, what may be, a terrific comic book/sci-fi film. I’d gladly voice Groot.

          • Everyone knows who Vin Diesel is. He’s prominent.

            I pray to the gods that your Z key breaks & it drives you mad.

        • They said he played the Robot in Iron Giant, which will prolly have even less lines than Groot

    • i have read comments that in some versions of the comics he has more of a vocabulary. this may be a [whispers]change in the films.

      • If he speaks more than 3 words at a time, Arnold Schwartzenwhanger will be jealous!

      • I would be fine with that change.

      • They better change that.

      • they did something similar last season on HIMYM, where marshall learned one phrase in italian, and he just kept repeating it over and over, telling ted some story, but the way he was changing his tone/inflections was great. they did have subtitles on for that part, but you could tell what he was trying to say. it was funny.

  5. I have a really good feeling that this movie is surely going to be a fun ride as well. I’m particularly looking forward to see Star-Lord cracking jokes here and there, Gamore and Drax kicking asses… and Rocket and Groot stealing every scenes they are in…

    • Yep, it literally has everything I want and look for in a movie like this. The comics are pretty great too. Looks like they’re on the right track with this movie.

  6. I am Groot.

    Le sigh.

  7. lovin that art at the top.

  8. I’m really looking forward to this movie, almost as much as Winter Soldier. Not related to Guardians, but on the subject of Thanos, I think he could be finally give us the Mandarin we all want. Think about it, Trevor is in jail, mad at Tony Stark for getting him there. Thanos approaches him and says he can help him get revenge on Tony. Thanos gives him the ten magic rings we all know and love…BOOM Iron Man 4!

    • I dont think kingsley will come back

    • I mean, really thankful you’re not a screenwriter.

      • lol

    • it really is time to let that go. seriously.

  9. where does Benicio’s Collector fit into all this ??

    • Maybe marvelsquash is right and he gets the rings from the collector

  10. Wow, so they’re going all in on the Ultimates storyline with Ronan being the son of Thanos instead of being Kree. Lame.

    • That will be the movie’s only disappointment.

      • and most of the people seeing the film wont know the difference. I being one of them.

        • This is true for most casual moviegoerz, but it would be nice for Marvel to attempt to cater to itz hardcore fanbase, since we do more than just buy ticketz and dvdz, but also buy weekly comicz and action figurez, etc.

          • After some thought, one of the only reasons why I think they are doing this is bcuz Marvel actually doesn’t own the wrights to the Kree Empire. Therefore they are using Ronan as an enforcer of the Ultimate Universe’s Acheron Empire.

            As much as I dislike the Ultimate Universe, I’ll be content with them going with that bcuz of not owning the writes to the Kree.

            2nd reason is bcuz after all, the Acheron Empire would make more sense in regards to the MCU. This way the MCU doesn’t have to explain the Kree Lore. To do that, it would some what lead the movie off topic. Therefore to save them the trouble of explaining all of the Kree’s history (Supremor, etc.), they will use the Acheron Empire.

            Why go deep into the Kree history if they will only use them once, right?

            For those who don’t know, the Ultimate Universe’s Acheron Empire is ruled by Thanos and his son Ronan the Accuser.

            Therefore in Black & White terms for the movie, you have the Nova Corps vs the Acheron Empire with the Guardians of the Galaxy right in between. Can’t wait to see what they actually do!

          • It’s really hard to take you seriously when you keep tong like that.

            • *typing

              • THANK YOU!!! I kept wondering if i was entering some parallel universe in which correct spelling just never happened…

                Ye gods…the ‘z’s man…THE ‘Z’S!!! Good grief.

                • It doezn’t make any zenze.

                  It’s like he’s typing with a turd that was formed from his thoughts.

    • Don’t be so sure.

  11. Thanos – Villainy overlord
    The Collector – ?
    Ronan – The Main Villain
    Nebula – Secondary Villain

    So what’s the Collector’s role?

  12. Can’t wait for this movie. Can’t wait to see how they alter Drax. If it’s gonna be for the better or the worse.

    If the rumors are true about VD voicing Groot. Just as the rumor/possible prank was, it’ll still be hilarious. Can’t wait for that.

    VD wanted to be the biggest villain in the MCU. I bet during the Marvel meeting, they said how much they will low ball him. So VD said, “f*** it” I’ll take that pay but only say three words, “I AM GROOT!!!!!”

  13. Removing Drax from Thanos huh?

    Sounds great. No really we should all gather round and rally about how freaking awesome that is. I mean, Thanos is nothing next to Ronin the Accuser, so obviously we would want to seperate Drax as far from Thanos as possible.

    Loving the idea of keeping Thanos in the shadows and changing origin stories to put distance between himself and what is going on. The more Ronin the Accuser and the less Thanos there is the better, am’I’right?

    Yep. Everything I was hoping for.

    • Definitely. It’s working out quite well so far.

  14. Let me get this straight…

    This is about a group of outcasts and misfits thrown together in the far reaches of the universe. It includes among others, their leader, a human, left earth many years ago and wears a long coat… a woman warrior of color who can kill anybody, a mean guy whose supposed to stand “up to the man and give him what for”, a character that says few words that carry much weight, and a small character that can be unpredictable.

    All their missing is a doctor, a genius mechanic, and a Firefly class ship to get them around the ‘Verse!

    …and its being watched over by Joss… :)

    • The Nova Corps HQ is in the Andromeda Galaxy which is neighbor to our Milky Way Galaxy so that isn’t very far from us at all. However the Guardians HQ is over at Knowhere so I guess you can say it kind of takes place in the “far reaches of the universe” considering Knowhere.
      Wiki Knowhere.

      Pete is half human btw. Gamora is an alien, last of her kind.

      Mantis would be their genius but idk if she’ll be in this movie.

      • Yeah, Andromeda Galaxy is only 2.5 million light years from earth… lol.

        • Despite it being on a collision course to us, 2.5 Million Light Years is a very very very tiny distance compared to the entire Universe. It isn’t safe to say, “far reaches of the universe” unless we are talking about Knowhere.

          • When you say “oh Andromeda Galaxy is just the next galaxy over…” it makes it sound like it’s not a far distance. The reality is that the distance between galaxies is so huge that the human mind can’t even imagine it. All I’m saying is that Andromeda Galaxy is an enormous distance away, even if “the other side of the universe” is even further.

            • Yep, if I remember correctly they never traveled out of the Milky Way in all of Star Trek. (Except for one or two crazy episodes.) In fact, they barely explored a small fraction of the Milky Way.

            • @Ken, When looking at the size of the Universe as a whole, Andromeda is less than walking distance away.

              • yup.
                thanks though.

  15. I don’t quite know what to make of there being an adaptation of Guardians if the Galaxy. I am curious to see it but it looks
    Like something from the Paul Anderson Event Horizon days. And with an August release, I can’t help but think this going to be a big box office dud this side of Disney’s The Black Hole, Stanley Donen’s Saturn 3 and DeLaurentiis’ mega budgeted Flash Gordon. I hope that I’m wrong as there have been a umber of box office disappointments from better known titles–The Hulk comes to mind. I am curious to see Drax.

  16. i have a question…why use these guys and not Vance and his team…?..