Once upon a time, there were many fans of the Marvel comic book universe who felt concerned that a property such as Thor might be a bit too “out there” to go over well with the general moviegoing public, as part of Marvel Studios’ Cinematic Universe. How things have changed, now that the quirky intergalactic citizens of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic world are readying to make their screen debut in one of the most anticipated geek movie releases of the year. (Not to mention, Phase 3 of the MCU will continue to bring on the “weirdness,” with Ant-Man and Doctor Strange films.)
Guardians, co-written and directed by James Gunn (Slither, Super), is certainly a peculiar intellectual property, even by the comic book movie genre’s standards. The latest slew of Guardians film images officially released by Marvel – which, if we’re being up front, are really just studio-sanctioned high-quality screenshots taken of the most recent trailer – call attention to that, by featuring a planet-like floating head called Knowhere and a spaceship that shares its name with the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie, among other curiosities.
As a quick rundown of the characters pictured here, we have Drax the Destroyer (David Bautista), a “maniac” who is apparently as heartbroken as he is full of rage; Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a “religious fanatic” who serves an even more dangerous master; Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a convict and lively fellow, who enjoys building bombs for fun as much as everyone else does; and Mr. Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a treelike being who is content to spend his days either carting around Rocket on his shoulder or handing out flowers to children. Also, that’s Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) wearing his helmet and doing his best John Carter impersonation.
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Gunn, in the past, has earned his reputation by crafting off-kilter indie film that’ve gone on to become semi-cult movies over the years since their initial release; it’s his commitment to being cleverly bizarre and twisted that earned The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon’s stamp of approval, where it concerns Gunn being the man hired by Marvle to realize the world of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book on the big screen, in the first place.
Whedon has also praised Gunn for the heart that he pours into his crazy cinematic concoctions – and, if the latter’s comments about how Guardians is really a film about family, love, and “giving a s**t” prove true, then this upcoming Marvel Studios’ release could be the title that properly introduces the larger moviegoing masses to what Gunn’s particular artistic style is like.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens in U.S. theaters on August 1st, 2014.