‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Concept Art Confirms Roster

3 years ago by  

It wasn’t a surprise to see Marvel Studios confidently announcing “Phase Two” of the Marvel cinematic universe during the Iron Man 3 panel at Comic-Con 2012, although some would argue that it was surprising to see Guardians of the Galaxy confirmed among the newly-titled Captain America and Thor sequels.

Guardians of the Galaxy and the idea of venturing deeper into the cosmic side of Marvel Comics is something studio president and producer Kein Feige has never been shy to speak about and multiple reports indicated that the project was closer to becoming a reality than many fans thought possible. When Rocket Raccoon appeared onscreen during the panel, everything changed.

With The Avengers becoming the third highest-grossing film of all-time at the worldwide box office, and earning the love of fans and critics, Marvel Studios and parent company Disney have solidified their heroes among the pop culture zeitgeist and have earned the ability to get more creative and take risks in attempting to expand the brand, by introducing characters unknown to mainstream moviegoers.

And trust us when we say these characters are unknown; even comic book readers may be unfamiliar with the Guardians of the Galaxy, a team consisting of unique aliens from various worlds – one of which is a heavy weapon-wielding raccoon, and another being a walking, talking tree. Let’s meet the five confirmed stars of the film, as listed and revealed via Charlie Wen’s beautiful concept art at the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel.


Guardians of the Galaxy Concept Art 570x248 Guardians of the Galaxy Concept Art Confirms Roster

From left to right: Drax the Destroyer, Groot (looks like an Ent from middle-earth), the dual-wielding Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon and the sword-wielding Gamora.

And a closer look at the five confirmed Guardians of the Galaxy characters:

The Guardians of the Galaxy team first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1969 and lasted through several runs, mini-series and guest appearances – as recently as last month in Avengers Assembled (coincidence?). The film draws its characters and inspiration from the rebooted Guardians of the Galaxy books by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning from 2008.

While not confirmed yet, characters including Adam Warlock and Nova could appear in the film as well – personally, I’m counting on it – so expect a lot more news in the coming months as casting rumors and details are unveiled. We’ll have more on Guardians of the Galaxy soon, so stay tuned and check out our Comic-Con 2012 landing page for more on what we learned and saw at this year’s big event.

After writing about how Guardians of the Galaxy was a realistic possibility a year ago, it’s exciting to see Marvel exemplifying confidence in their ability to realize and sell such an obscure property.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: guardians of the galaxy


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  1. Star Lord and Drax are going to be bad ass. And Rocket Raccoon. What am I thinking all of them are bad ass.

    • Ray Liotta for the voice of Rocket Racoon!

      • I like that.

    • Bautista as Drax? Perfect.

  2. It’s like Alice in Wonderland meets LotR meets X-Men, it’s to much Fantasy IMO.

    I don’t think that this would work in the established Avengers-movie-universe, it’s to far-off. I mean a humanized Racoon, come on.

    As a standalone movie in it’s own movie-universe it could be fun, though.

    • That’s the thing, it is a stand alone but shared universe movie. In my mind that is the beauty of GotG and it’s characters. I am going to assume that if Nova is going to be in the GotG movie, he will eventually join the Avengers in a movie or something else that takes place on Earth. By having a few headliners from the GotG join some of the bigger movies is how they will bridge all the movies together. I highly doubt you will ever see RR or Groot share the screen with Marvel’s a-listers like Thor, Capt, and Iron Man. It rarely happens in the comics and I doubt the MCU will be any different. If they do, I bet it will just be a nod at the character or something very minor.

      • it rarely happens in the comics?? umm no. they’ve always guest starred in avengers books. ever read any of the infinity series? which is probably the exact storyline they’re leading up to in avengers 2. adam warlock and all the guardians will have to have a big part in the upcoming thanos story. I’m sure the whole GotG team will come to earth to stop thanos.

        • Excuse, maybe I should clear up what I meant by ‘rarely’. You rarely ever see RR and Groot side by side with Iron Man, Thor, and Capt. I understand and agree that they (RR and Groot) show up in other stories but do not share the pages with REALLY mainstream characters. I agree that the others will probably play an important part, if they are going off the comics.

        • w go to earth to stop thanos, would make more sense for all the teams to go to asgard and stop thanos there. The earth can only be attacked so many times IMO. How amazing would it be for the avengers, GotG yo all end up in asguard to defend the vault (gaunlet)?

          • I like that! Now Thor’s friends can help out!

            And I’m not being sarcastic.

      • There will be plenty of marketing that will tie this to Avengers in the public minds. It will be subtle, like circulating news stories (already happening). Comic fans will read up on GotG and inform others. Marvel is counting on that too. I’m sure Thanos will figure into it, and they’ll connect it to Earth with a character or two like Adam Warlock and Nova. The other movies will have hints and plot points for this too. Like Adam Warlock was created on Earth by “the hive” or something. They could tie this in to A.I.M. Also Rocket Raccoon is a genetically altered raccoon from Earth (which makes more “sense” than him being an alien).

        So part of me thinks this is risky, and I want to applaud Marvel for taking risks. But I also think they’ll do a reletively risk-free introduction, with lots of suggestion that this is Avengers-related.

        Look at Thor. They didn’t break any new ground with that. Not a great movie, but so many other movies try for a lot more (too much) and fail.

  3. I’m one of those who had no idea who TGotG were before it was talked about here. So I don’t want to judge before I know more so I have a couple of questions…
    1. What’s the tone of the series?
    2. Is it geared torwards a younger crowd?
    3. If so, is it possible that’s what Marvel is trying to accomplish with this movie?
    I’m not saying Phase 1 and The Avengers were adult films but at the same time they weren’t kids films either. So could this be Marvels 1st attempt at going straight at the juice box crowd? Let’s not forget they’re partners with Disney…
    I know I’m probably wrong but like I said I’m not familiar with this series so hopefully fellow Ranters will set me straight…

    • I’m in the same boat. But look at the concept art. In fact all the art I’ve seen would place this firmly in the PG-13 catagory. Gamora’s gamms can be covered up, but look at all the guns, guns, guns.

      Honestly, does the concept art look like Walt Disney?

        • Are you talking to me? I’m not judging the rating, I’m just saying what I think it is.

          And I wouldn’t mess with any raccoon. I passed a couple in a city park not too long ago. They were big and I gave them plenty of space.

          I think RR could be stupid or could be great. I always thought the Ewoks could have been great if they looked more fierce and beastly instead of like big teddy bears. That would have required puppetry back then. I think they could pull this off nowadays.

    • 1. The tone is what I’m most interested in actually (it’s gonna be interesting to see what they do). The 2008 series (of which this team is based on) was pretty “gritty” IMO. There was still humor, but the series wasn’t as silly and childish as some of these guys are assuming it to be.

      2. That’s almost like asking “Is Batman or Iron Man geared towards a younger audience?”. Kids and teens (I’m a teen BTW) are sure to love it too, but I’m certain that plenty of adults (right here on SR) will confirm that they’ve read the books and look forward to the movie.

      Marvel (generally) makes movies for all types of people. I.e. a wide audience: men, women, teens, kids, geeks, and non-geeks.
      I’m sure GotG won’t be any different, but I doubt it’ll be a “kids movie”.

      • @ The Avenger & Nostelg-O
        You both make good points and I’ll be sure to do some reading to catch up on the series. Like I said I really don’t know much at all about the series so that’s why I had questions. Especially because I don’t like to pass judgement on something I’m not familiar with. That happens way to much on the world wide web :)

      • I feel the big difference between avengers and GotG is that the avengers are the prototypical “superhero” movie while GotG feels more more like a sci-fi see aliens type movie. Still powered up teammates etc but they behave more like a navy seal team than a superhero team. At least thats how i see them, and for me that would be refreshing.

        • Several years ago Iron Man, Thor, Cap, and to some extent Hulk were all not so well known by the masses. But they had been appearing in cartoons, birthday cards, and wrapping paper, as well as popular comics, for several decades.

          GotG are closer to some made-from-scratch super team in a movie. Plus it’s in outer space. It’s a huge “no” I would think, except that there will be many strings attaching this to Avengers throughout the all of the Marvel films. This would have a lot of trouble getting financing otherwise.

    • This version of the team is about four years old, but the original idea goes back decades. Drax and Gamora were dead during much of the 80′s and 90′s I think, and were popular again after the Infinity Gauntlet story. Rocket Raccoon and the rest of the team were sporadically used over the years and depending on how old you are and when you read comics you may or may not know who they are.

      It seems to me that even though they have re-introduced this theme and the characters recently, this movie project is probably only being done because Marvel does not have to rights to so many of their other properties at this point. They more than likely want the same audience that they got for the Avengers films, but this just seems like they need something to fill the gap of not having Spider-Man, the X-Men and even the Fantastic Four at their disposal.

  4. Rocket Raccoon looks AWESOME!

  5. I just think this is such a risky project to pull off. There is the advantage of it being completely unique and different to the other Marvel movie counterparts. Yes Thor and Captain America were relatively unknown to the public masses, but at least with those stories, you had a central character to focus on.

    I too suspect that there will be a kid / family orientated feel to this. That would give the film much more of a chance of appealing to a wider audience. Marvel perhaps will not choose to go too hardcore, considering the lukewarm reception that Watchmen received.

    I suspect that this will be part of the ‘phase 2′ leading up to the Avengers sequel. I can understand Marvel wanting to expand on it’s cosmic universe, especially if it involves an early introduction of Thanos. I personally think a Silver Surfer movie would’ve been more ideal to fit both purposes.

    • while silver surfer would be cool, they cant do it. fox owns the film rights still, plus he really has nothing to do with Thanos at all. half of the guardians cast has some connection to him.

      also, having read the GotG comics, this wont be more kid oriented. like marvels other films, anyone will be able to enjoy it (so long as they can get past the gun toting raccoon that cusses like a sailor)

      • i have to disagree, you havent read many or any Silver Surfer comics. Thanos ran into the Silver Surfer many times attempting to take Galactus cosmic powers for destruction. Because of his obsession with Death and Power many cosmic beings are odds with him. He was always seen as a dangerous threat to the universe. of course, with Thanos being involved anyone could a connection with him.

    • I haven’t read the comics either, but like anyone else, I’ve googled since the rumors started.

      I also think this will be more dark and gritty. I don’t think it will be kid-friendly. It won’t be kid-hostile either. Kids would probably like a tough mean raccoon.

      It’s not going to exist in a vacuum. By the time it hits theaters audiences will see a clear connection to the Avengers. I expect plot-strings to appear in all of the other Marvel movies too. Marvel is also counting on the public and media to spread the word. Honestly, this is a lot like Thor, in that I doubt it would have gotten financing if it wasn’t part of the Avengers, and the public was somewhat aware of that. Marvel’s going a bit further this time, but Thor was before the success of Avengers, this is after.

  6. I AM GROOT!

    • Fun fact:
      In my home language (Afrikaans), “groot” actually means “big”.
      … okay, that wasn’t really fun, but it is a fact! ;)

      • I think it’s interesting. Wonder if there is any intentional connection. More likely it just sounded good, and it has the word “root” in it.

        I remember reading that Aku (the evil guy in Samurai Jack) means “evil” in Japanese. But then it had to be changed for Brazil because it sounded like a crude slang word.

        • “Akuma” is Demon in japanese (I think), it must be a related word.

        • Akuma is more closely associated with “The Devil” or “Satan” but can also refer to an evil spirit. It is a bit nebulous however because Asian religions don’t really have an exact analog for the Christian big bad guy.

          Aku = evil
          Ma = true

          so the kanjis translate exactly to “true evil”.

          Demon is associated more with the word, “oni”.

  7. we don’t need anymore stand alone bs like nolan’s batman,spiderman,daredevil,fantastic four,xmen etc. lots of folks thought that avengers would not work and match up with nolan’s darknight and we all saw the thrashing dc comics got by marvel this year. thank goodness that phase two is still part of the marvel’s cinematic universe.

    • I’d rather see a lot of those properties standalone. Spidey, FF, and Daredevil were always best alone. One day Marvel will have them back, and they might do a better job, but I’m not looking forward to a crowded shared universe.

  8. Rocket Raccoon ? Really? Ah, NO!

  9. i have only read 1 GoG comic (the free one that one gets in the marvel ipad app), and seen them in Avengers: EMH…

    can anyone explain to me what those spaceship star/crystal looking things in the background are?

    …can you do GoG without Adam Warlock?

  10. I have never really followed Marvel’s cosmic universe but isn’t Nova part of GotG?

    • Nova isn’t apart of the Guardians. However he has teamed up with them to fight said foes such as Thanos. When Star-Lord was 1st introduced in the 2006 Marvel Cosmic reboot, he was Nova’s right hand man. If you want to read the comic event, it’s called Annihilation. Drax also tagged along with Nova (he trained Nova on how to be ruthless) and Gamora would sleep with Nova on a regular bases (he was her “boy toy”).

      Rocket and Groot didn’t come until Annihilation: Conquest.

  11. If they try to do this movie without Adam Warlock I won’t pay to see it. That would be like trying to do an Avengers movie without Iron Man. Adam Warlock is 100% integral to the story. I’m already giving the project a bit of a sidelong glance because they introduced the concept art without him or Nova. I know these characters are extremely powerful on a cosmic level so adding an element of realism could be difficult but that’s part of what makes Marvel movies so great (most of them anyway). They get how to combine fantasy and reality.

    • They can’t introduce Adam Warlock right off the bat. As big as a character he is to the team, he will need a dedicated hour. They would have to awaken him from the cocoon 1st (this will take us away from the arc story they’re trying to develop). Plus he isn’t apart of the Guardians, “formally.” Those are his words. He shouldn’t be introduced until after Avengers 2. They can make it where because of the threat taken place during Avengers 2, rips in the cosmos are taking place. Then this can easily bring him in along with Nova and Magus. Nova in regards to Xandar being destroyed by these rips instead of the Annihilation Wave as in the comics. Magus can be set up for Avengers 3.

  12. Adam Warlock will be introduced in some way, at some time, before Avengers 2. It’s just being kept secret for now so we all get to buzz about it. It’s a shame that Fox owns FF, and thus Doom, Surfer, and Galactus. Those guys play a big part in the comic storyline, but oh well… it can be done without them I suppose. I still can’t fathom the level of epicness if we were to actually get an on screen adaption of Warlock and Surfer watching “last man standing” Captain America from light years away, as Cap defiantly approaches an unbeatable Thanos, and Surfer screaming at Warlock that they HAVE to intervene.

  13. I’m so confused, I feel like I missed some pretty basic information; is this going to be live action or animation??

  14. Those ships in the background of the concept art resemble the Nova Corps symbol. I sure to hope that’s them. MS may not own the rights to use the Kree. Therefore the Nova Corps would be the perfect replacement. Now I can’t wait to see rookie Nova! The cameo will prob go like this:

    Nova (Richard Rider) flies way from the Guardians and he comments to himself about Star-Lord,

    Nova: “Blue Blazes, I really hate that guy.”

    Star-Lord to the team: “Man, I really love that guy.”

    Gamora: “I’ll sleep with him 1st.”

  15. MCU is gonna be ruined if this ties in to it.

    I’m all for space stuff but Rocket Racoon and Groot?

    It’s just way too cartoony.