‘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. Rob what do you think of the lineup, I’m surprised they went with both Groot & Drax over Adam Warlock & Quasar or that they didn’t mention Nova, I realize it’s concept art and they might have more announcements at D23,…

    Also what do you think of the rumor of Anthony Mackie as Falcon, I know he was your Black Panther choice but this might end up being a better off…

    • I culd imagine theyll make falcon look real modern n mad cool like they did wit hawkeye theyll prolly give him metal wings wit black armor na splash of res

    • I’m game for Mackie as Falcon. Very cool character.

      As for Guardians, I’m thinking Adam Warlock and Nova will show up (definitely Nova).

      • I agree about Mackie he’s a solid actor maybe they’ll get Aldis Hodge for Black Panther, I agree that either Nova or Adam Warlock will show up…

  2. if they do tie this in with the 2nd avengers movie because we all know thanos is a badass and will need A LOT more than just 6 people to beat him wont they need Adam Warlock to have a slim chance against him?

    • If they don’t show up, there will be at least seven people. They’re adding AntMan.

  3. It looks amazing and i cannot wait. After the Avengers and Thor this is my most anticipated marvel movie. I wish i had a time machine lol. Rocket Raccoon looks brilliant and so does Drax. They all look great but those really stick out to me.

  4. So excited for Rocket Raccoon and Groot to be on the big screen. I know some people are confused by the line up though.

    • See I’m not so much confused about the lineup but I would’ve thought with Rocket Raccoon in, they might have gone with Humanoid looking characters like Quasar & Adam Warlock for the general audience or the original team, (especially with Adam’s ties to Thanos) but I love that Drax is in thats a badass dude…

      • Oh, I agree with you. I would want Quasar in the film rather than Gamora as a Guardian, I would want Gamora in the film but be Thanos’s assasin and then bring her back as a Guardian in the sequel.

        • Probably going to be a straight to dvd animated movie. Nobody knows who these guys are. I collected comics in the 80’s-90’s and never heard of them back then.

        • Interesting idea, you would think that they would have Quasar on the team and introduce Gamora as an assassin of Thanos especially with her ties to Thanos then she could flip on Thanos and join the team but they may be trying to do something different than your run of the mill story of Villains sends assassin after team then later realizes error and joins the team to go after villain…

          I get the feeling that we may see Adam Warlock or Nova in the movie, maybe one of them is going after Thanos then cross paths with the Guardians, needs help, etc…

          • Could the reason why they aren’t doing it is because that’s the Ultron/Vision story arc???! :)

          • Gamora could very well start out as a villain, concept art isn’t a lot to draw conclusions from. Hawkeye spent much of the Avengers working for the bad guys, even though we had all seen the artwork with him with the team.

  5. I am looking forward to this. They all have complex backgrounds, with gamora and drax having direct ties with thanos.

  6. Drax is going to be bad ass, and Rocket Raccoon is gonna make threads role, can’t wait for this movie.

  7. No one has mentioned how awesome Star Lord is yet. I am uber excited for this film.

  8. Man, I’m pumped for this! All’s missing are Warlock, Quasar, and maybe Nova. Then again, this will probably be an origin film, so it may not be safe to explain seven characters in one film. But these five, awesome. I hope Greg Ellis will voice Rocket Raccoon again. Or at least someone who sounds like him, like Vinnie Jones. I’m getting rather fond of RR having a gruff Cockney accent, it really suits him.

    • Is RR supposed to sound British? It’s just that we don’t have Raccoons over here. Badgers, we’ve got plenty of them, but no raccoons (Despite what the live action 101 Dalmations would have you believe.).

  9. Im surprised they’re skipping the may 2014 time slot, which worked so well for the Avengers and 3 iron man movies (3rd pending).

    At lest include something for june and have one movie in the peak summer months. May I suggest a modestly budgeted Antman movie.

    • The amazing spiderman sequel squatted on the release date when they announced to first one. I think 2014 will be the only year they aren’t there in the first weekend of may for the forseeable future. But depending when Antman is done he might go in there in may somewhere….but I doubt it. Maybe June, because May has a big movie coming out every week.

  10. Muahahaha…….raccoon with a gun, there IS nothing better. 😀

    My only reservations about the concept art (and these are somewhat trivial):

    – Groot looking a bit too human for my taste. At the moment, with the fleshy tones, he almost looks like some oversized zombie with wierd growths. Green Lantern did something similar with the way Kilowog was modeled (to look more human than pig) and it just never worked. Stop trying to make things look too human…….They need to channel more “ent” and wood/bark.

    – Missing Star-Lords iconic helmet. It really rounds out the character’s look.

    – No Adam Warlock and Quasar. There are going to be two fully CG characters so I think they can up the roster to 5 real actors.

    I do believe Nova will be a part of the movie, just not an official part of the team.

    I also don’t know how anyone would now think that RR is a cute and furry woodland creature prone to comedic relief. He looks pretty bad-assed there and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of his anger.

    • Even though I like the look in the concept art, I do agree with you. His Helmet is badass and it is needed.

  11. I do agree that Star Lord does need the helmet.

  12. I wonder if moondragon will show up in GOTG? I believe she has a connection 2 draxx.if she does show up I’d like 2 see her played by charlize theron.hey even a bald charlize would be sexy.

    • I believe Moon Dragon is Quasars lover. Those two may be being saved for a sequal so that there arent too many characters and I think they could have a good plot with this with the roster. They could show Adam Warlock introduced, sepretly introduce Rocket Racoon, show thanos and his adopted(I Think) Daughter Gamora and also show his father creating Drax and Racoon creating Groot. Gamora could turn against thanos to help Drax defeat her evil father, and RR and Groot and Star Lord can show up seperatly to fight Thanos and all 5 can team up, temperarily defeat Thanos and decide to form a team to stop stuff like Thanos before it happens, and then Thanos appears on Earth and the Guardians join the Avengers to beat Thanos(with Antman, maybe to take the gauntlet off of Thanos)

  13. @mongoose. When I wrote about RR the other day I was mainly referring 2 the point that Disney appeals 2 the fact that they really emphasize animal characters.plus didn’t know that RR is militant. Did some reading on him.

    • Yes but the new incarnation of GotG was created before Disney bought out Marvel. So RR has always been a part of the group and deserves to be a part of this movie as much as any of the characters. I also don’t think Disney strong arms Marvel into choosing (or not choosing) certain characters for their movies.

      And now you know about RR, and knowing is half the battle! G.I.JOE!

  14. This all all seems very Green Lanternish… and John Carterish… And Chronicles of Riddickish…

    • None of the movies you mentioned were bad ideas in the concept stage. Granted anything could happen.

      Whatever. It’s an Avengers tie-in movie. Marvel is betting the audience will show up.

    • your username seems very Munsterish….


  15. This all all seems very Green Lanternish… and John Carterish… And Chronicles of Riddickish… Hopefully a little Thory

  16. That racoon is coughing up a hairball…and it’s called this dumb idea. No Guardians movie, please. Just get on with the serious Marvel stuff, like Avengers #2 & #3.!

    • Well pleading for it to not happen despite the fact we know it is seems a bit futile at this point.

      You may hate the raccoon but many of us feel he is an awesome character. Come over to the awesome side of the fence!

      Oh and raccoons are more closely related to dogs so sorry but no hairballs 😉

      • Actually, I had 2 real racoons as beloved pets as a teenager. They are about a 3rd. cousin to a bear, actually (really!), and mine were very lovable (hand-raised orphans from when they first opened their eyes!); I had them for a number of years until they sadly passed on as all things do. Mine, however, did not cough up hairballs , carry ray-guns, or save the universe (they sure did like butter-cookies, though!).

        • I think you are drastically underestimating just how dangerous butter-cookies really are. (^-^)

        • Well if you really want to get technical……Raccoons belong to the family Procyonidae and is part of the order Carnivora, to which the cat and dog families also belong. There are two branches of the order Carnivora, the Feliformia (or ‘cat-like’) families, and the Caniformia (or ‘dog-like’) families. The Procyonidae family belongs to the Caniformia branch, along with the Canidae (dogs), Ursidae (bears), Mustelidae (weasels and relatives), Otariidae (eared seals) and Phocidae (true seals).

          And just because YOUR raccoons didn’t, doesn’t mean there can’t be one extraordinary raccoon that DID? Seems to me that’s what superheros are all about.

  17. This could go either way, it could be Marvels Green Lantern or Marvels Star Wars. I have full faith that Marvel can pull this off. Even with a talking Raccoon.

  18. @Goldilocks if all you have is negative s*** to say, then keep quiet

  19. They have to have Nova he belongs on screen look at him for God sakes he’s awesome!

  20. I was hoping for the original lineup when i first heard about this. not so sure that I’ll see it.

  21. Don’t know too much about them but after doing some research I am excited to see this gotta say and I love the art work amazing!! Also on that point I love all marvel concept art very cool.

    And Thor THE DARK WORLD!!


    I love how their doing subtitles now it makes more impactful to me then a number at the end of it

    No disrespect to iron man though.

  22. This feels like it’s going to be Marvel’s “John Carter.” I love comic book films, but these characters are unfamiliar to me. As someone who is unfamiliar with the characters, it just looks REALLY REALLY dumb. A raccoon? REALLY?!?!

    • I gotta agree. Even if this ends up being the best Marvel film to date when its released, the success of this film is gonna lie with the marketing. The ideas and charctaers for this film seem to be really out of left field. I think it will need some top notch marketing to draw in the crowds and to convince the general movie going audience that a film with talking animals isnt a kids film. I’ll be honest, never read a GotG comic, and have no urge to.

      If this movie wasnt part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I couldnt see myself going to the cinema for this one. But I am interested to see how they end up fitting a talking raccoon and a walking tree into Marvel’s semi-realistic cinematic universe.

      I am hopeful, and excited, as I am for all Marvel Studios films, but I will not be surprised if this ends up being Marvel’s “John Carter”.

    • There is a telepathic Russian cosmonaut dog to….but it’s all good.

      • *too*

        What I wouldn’t give for an edit button.

  23. excited to see this being made, but does this mean no black panther or luke cage movie before avengers 2 comes out?

  24. This is a very obvious move, choosing Guardians of the Galaxy to flesh out Thanos’ backstory and motivations for Avengers 2 while allowing Cap, Iron Man, Thor et al to play around in their own smaller worlds for their sequels. Thanos was one of the earliest rumors to come out of The Avengers production. They unveiled the Infinity Gauntlet at Comicon at the same time they did Captain America’s shield. It makes no sense to build up Thanos in Cap 2, IM 3, or even Thor 2. They did that with Thor, introduced Loki who became the Big Bad for Avengers, then he passed the torch to Thanos. Thanos needs his set-up movie, and Guardians, with this lineup, has the perfect combination of a rich tradition of ties to Thanos in the comics and appeal for the common movie goer who has enjoyed the Marvel films. The movies have all had their detractors, but we have gotten far better than we ever could have hoped for out of Hollywood. I have complete faith that Phase Two is going to continue that tradition.

  25. I think I actually had one or two issues of the original Rocket Raccoon mini-series, probably threw them away years ago. Most of these other characters I only know from the Infinity Gauntlet and the Original Guardians team was covered in the old Official Guide to the Marvel Universe, but never really were in many books when I collected.

    This new team is very recent and this movie seems like it is aimed at newer comic book fans, and people from the 80’s and 90’s might not know what is going on. With Thanos showing up at the end of Avengers I am surprised Adam Warlock isn’t included in this project, yet. A lot more fans who aren’t into the books now would recognize him and connect it with what they lead off with in Avengers.

    As for Rocket Raccoon and Groot as on-screen characters in a live action movie, we’ll have to wait and see how that plays. Effects wise we have already seen talking, fighting trees in the Lord of the Rings, so it’s not like trying to figure out cold fusion. The raccoon is manageable too, but as history has shown there is a razor thin line when it comes to CGI. Even when it looks good too much might as well be an animated film.

    • For RR think Narnia. Lots of fantastical “woodland” creatures in there armed for war and no one balked at that. If Reepicheep, with a rapier can be a formidable opponent, then a raccoon with a big gun I see no problems with.

      • It’s not about how formidable it looks, the question is will too much CGI be a distraction. Narnia as an example of talking animals validates the point that technically it can be done, but it also raises the question who will it appeal to as a paying audience. Then there is the issue of quality versus cost, I think we can all agree to have a humanoid tree and fighting raccoon that doesn’t look crazy will require top of the line computer work, assuming they go that route.

      • ^^ This (^-^)

  26. I WIll make following assumptions:

    1. Star-Lord starts of as a SHIELD Agent somehow working on something in outerspace when he gets sucked into “wahtever they will find a reason” wormhole that puts him in a awkward situation with groot, raccoon and gamora.

    2. after battling out of that sitauation they end up on a space station where raccoon and groot give him the tour

    3. they meet up with drax who just tears apart some bar

    4. Nova Corp Members show up to police the situation

    5. the guys agree to help him back home if he helps them with a certain chitauri situation involving thanos

    4. gamora and star lord hook up only for him to find out about her connection to thanos

    5. major battles

    6. final battle involves a one or more nova corp members who die

    7. nove corp helm ends up with star lord back on earth

    8. in the credits richard ryder picks up the helm

    I could come up with plenty of more stuff 😀

  27. I didn’t know Kratos was part of GotG? 😀

    If this is a setup for an eventual Infinity Gauntlet fight, they need Adam Warlock and Dr. Strange. I would like the Silver Surfer also involved but we know that can’t happen.

  28. @Those of you worried/in denial that Rocket Raccoon and Groot won’t be accepted by the general audience, I would like to share a story with you:
    When I first saw this concept art it immediately ended up as my desktop wallpaper (obviously ;)). A few hours after I did that, my sister walks in and sees my desktop (let me just plaint a quick picture: she’s a 14 years old, popular, loads of “cool” friends, sporty, stylish, etc. – basically your stereotypical teenage girl), she saw the characters and asked who they were… I began to explain they’re the GotG, what the characters’ names are and what they can do, she interrupted me and said “I love the big tree and the hamster!”. I then went on to say that “it isn’t a hamster, it’s a violent, talking raccoon and… well the tree is pretty much a tree” – she then said that’s awesome and that she can’t wait to see the movie.

    Take that as you will, but the fact that a teenage girl who knows very little of the comic book world and couldn’t give a toss about these characters, IMMEDIATELY said she loved those two particular characters, is a pretty good indication that they’ll “sit well” with the general audience…

  29. Anywho, I think the concept art is awesome.
    All the characters looks amazing (Star Lord just needs his helmet), but I’m hoping Adam Warlock will be included too (could tie in with the Infinity Gauntlet).
    I’m also hoping Marvel will save money on expensive actors with this one, so they can use that money on making these characters come to life with quality CGI and VFX effects…