Marvel Moves ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Release Date to August 2014

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Guardians of the Galaxy Release Date Marvel Moves Guardians of the Galaxy Release Date to August 2014

Next year, months after Iron Man 3 kicks off the summer movie season of 2013, Thor 2 will test the waters as the first ever fall release for Marvel Studios. As we learned not long ago, Captain America 2 will also serve as test, representing the first ever spring release for Marvel Studios the following year.

Why the move away from key summer release dates? Marvel Studios and The Avengers team have successfully established themselves among mainstream pop culture so no longer does Marvel need to forcefully keep films close together to maintain buzz through cross-marketing as we saw with Captain America and Thor last summer. The other big reason is that it allows for more than two films per year depending on the need…

With Marvel Studios shooting one film at a time (for the most part), we have Iron Man 3 already underway, Thor 2 beginning to shoot in August and Captain America 2 after that at the end of the year. Sometime next year will see Guardians of the Galaxy enter production for what was reportedly going to be one of Marvel Studios two previously claimed summer 2014 slots, specifically May 16, 2014 (two weeks after The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

As we’ve learned today, Guardians of the Galaxy (which remains unofficial) has changed release dates moving from May 16th, 2014 to August 1st, 2014, a full three months later (and two weeks after X-Men: First Class 2). It’s going to be a busy year for Marvel.

Guardians of the Galaxy offers another team-up film of characters for Marvel to merchandise and tells the story of a group of aliens (Adam Warlock, Drax The Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, Quasar, Rocket Raccoon and ally Nova) who come together to protect the galaxy from Thanos, the villain teased in the button at the end of The Avengers.

There are a variety of potential reasons for the release date switch and it could be anything from timing production with a certain director the studio has in mind, to opening up their production schedule for another film (i.e. Ant-Man) to shoot before Guardians to also come out in 2014. We’ll hopefully find out next Saturday at Marvel Studios’ San Diego Comic-Con panel presentation.

Let’s take a look at the current Marvel Studios release schedule (and changes) leading up to present:


  • Iron Man 3 (May 3)
  • Thor 2 (November 15 pushed forward a week to November 8th)


  • Captain America 2 (April 4)
  • Unknown Confirmed Untitled Marvel Film (May 16 pushed back to August 1)
  • Unknown (June 27)

The original pair of dates Marvel Studios claimed for 2014 were for May 16th and June 27th. Instead of taking Marvel’s traditional May slot, Captain America 2 was positioned earlier – potentially to serve as a setup for another film later that year? That May slot was instead reportedly to be used for Guardians of the Galaxy which is now the film likely occupying Marvel Studios’ new August 1st date that year.

Guardians of the Galaxy Nova Marvel Moves Guardians of the Galaxy Release Date to August 2014

Will Nova play a part in Guardians of the Galaxy?

Where does that leave Marvel’s original two days? Currently sitting in the May 16th slot is the Michael Bay-produced alien-themed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and on June 27th, Michael Bay’s Transformers 4 - both films for Paramount. Perhaps Marvel Studios is playing nice after buying back the distribution rights from Paramount for The Avengers and Iron Man 3. More realistically, both of those films will be competing for the same audience as Marvel and Transformers won’t budge for anyone except Michael Bay.

So here’s the actual schedule for “Phase 2″ of the Marvel cinematic universe as we currently know it. Expect The Avengers 2 in May 2015.


  • Iron Man 3 (May 3)
  • Thor 2 (November 8th)


  • Captain America 2 (April 4)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1)

So, with Edgar Wright shooting test footage for Ant-Man which could potentially show up at Comic-Con week, there’s a very realistic possibility that Ant-Man could represent a third Marvel Studios release for 2014, something President Kevin Feige hinted at previous as something dependent on what Mr. Wright presented to them. That could come mid-summer, between the two listed titles or it could do what Thor 2 is trying out and come that fall.

Marvel Ant Man Movie Marvel Moves Guardians of the Galaxy Release Date to August 2014

Is Ant-Man coming in 2014 too?

Other possibilities include the recently rumored Black Panther, Doctor Strange, The Incredible Hulk 2 or some such combination of characters. Black Panther vs. Hulk anyone? Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage and Iron Fist? Either way, we can expect at least one more film in 2014 or 2015, if not two.

When do you think Ant-Man should release?

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor 2 on November 8, 2013, Captain America 2 on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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  1. Oh, I never thought you to be 16, I do know there’ll be exceptions who’d fancy the name. Nothing wrong with that. But fortunately most superhero film-makers seem to know better than to use some superhero names that could bring their movies to ridicule. If you’d notice, people never called Sue Storm and Reed by their hero names in FF (Johnny only mentioned Invisible Girl sarcastically in one occasion) and neither was Jean Grey ever called Marvel Girl in Xmen. Comic movies have come a long way from the days of Clooney’s Batman and Arnie’s Mr. Freeze for us to throw away the hard earned serious reckoning IMO. The name ‘Rocket raccoon’ should remain in Saturday morning cartoons. That’s just my opinion. Lest it taints the seriousness of Thanos for the silver screen- as he would most likely appear in Avengers 2.

  2. wtf is guardians of the galaxy ? Don’t recall this comic ever when I collected in the 80s.

    • Ever heard of this thing called “google”? ;)

  3. Please no raccoon. Please…no…raccoon….

  4. I’m a huge GotG fanboy, and I’m crazy excited for this to happen. There isn’t as much of a fanbase, tis true, but hype and good advertising can compensate easy enough there.
    Also, this article fails to mention Star-Lord in any way, which is bad form considering he’s the leader and founder of the team :p Plus, he’s tailor-made for Nathan Fillion, which would be the raddest casting EVAR.
    And what’s with the Rocket Raccoon hate? As long as they portray him as he is in the comic, not all crazy Aussie thing like in UMvsC3, he’ll be pretty damned cool. Read the books if you don’t believe me ;)

    • It’s all good. The article wasn’t listing who will (or will not be in the actual movie. Rob was just listing some of the members and I guess left Star-Lord out.I believe Kevin Feige has already confirmed that Star-Lord will be in as well as RR an Groot. The two members that weren’t specifically mentioned that I’m concerned about are Adam Warlock and Martyr aka Quasar (love her powers and visuals).

      And the RR hate is people having a knee-jerk reaction to a gun wielding, talking raccoon with a “cartoonish” name, without actually knowing what or who exactly the character is. Those people really need to read the comic to truly understand the awesomeness of the character. The exact same thing is happening with Ant-Man…..they hear the name and think “what, does he turn into an ant, how is THAT good?” and just say the character is lame before actually finding out about the character.

    • For my part, I wouldn’t characterize my wish to not have RR in the films as “hate” so much as preference for a what a comic book movie is and isn’t. If Marvel wasn’t trying mix its properties or cross-pollinate, I’d be fine with a stand alone GotG.

      I like these new Marvel films as they’ve been. I like that they’re ambitious enough to draw Thor into an Iron Man universe, and think there’s plenty of room to explore, creatively speaking, in future movies.

      My concern is that, by adding the gun-slinging coon into the mix, we’ve slid off into the absurd. It’s the same kind of dilemma with a Nolan Batman populating the Donner Superman universe. You can do it, sure, but why not create a different place for them to get together?

      Mixing Guardians of the Galaxy with the Avengers (and, by extension the solo films for Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man) will impact how we see those characters in all their films going forward.

      So, for an audience member like me, it lowers the tone of these movies. It lowers the tone of the drama if you can just throw in a talking raccoon.

      • testing testing

      • sorry but I was unable to post my comment to you because it kept being flagged as spam for some reason. ><

        • That’s okay. You know, I’ve was thinking more about this. I appreciate that you’re defending this character you love, and I don’t want to dis the character. I don’t know the character.

          The point is that when you’re putting a comparatively “experimental” character side by side with a well known, beloved character like Captain America, for instance, what you’re doing is putting them up like they’re equal properties.

          I’m sure they ARE equal properties in the minds of many fans. But the mass appeal of any art form is achieved by what resonates to many, many people, by definition. (MASS appeal.) So, fans who are excited to see the armored truck backing up with gold bars in it after the success of Avengers,will naturally be concerned if the Marvel brand is tarnished by an ill-advised attempt to combine talking raccoons with the Incredible Hulk.

          A non rabid fan may rightly wonder how impressive the Hulk can actually be, if he can, theoretically, be taken down by a raccoon–albeit not just any raccoon–but a raccoon who talks, sings and dances, or whatever he can do.

          A non rabid fan may rightly wonder why he is plunking down a chunk of change to see Chris Evans’ Captain America, the world’s “first Superhero” arm wrestling a cute furry bespectacled beast.

          Granted, I’m inventing some scenes. But I’m inventing them to clarify what we’re talking about here. This is what I mean when I say “lowers the tone.” Even if you have a kick-ass Rambo Raccoon, he’s still the butt of the joke b/c HE’S A RACCOON. And once the character becomes a punchline, in a film that included more mainstream characters, the mainstream guys’ images are tarnished.

          • gonna try this again…….I’m not really sure what being a raccoon has to do with it. Just because he’s a raccoon doesn’t automatically mean he’s “furry and cute” (at least no more so than say a bear is) and RR can be a pretty mean mofo when push comes to shove.

            The best example I can give you is Yoda from Star Wars. He was a freakin’ muppet of all things and while they did an excellent job with him, at the end of the day you could easily tell he was but we didn’t care! Everyone was willing to suspend their disbelief and accept the character for what it was. There was also a LOT of joking associated with him but it was in a good way.

            Then we got the fully CGI, badassed, acrobatic, light saber wielding, force using, little green machine of death in SW; Attack of the Clones, and that kind of shut everyone up.

            So if Mark Hamill (who was a pretty big star at the time) can act along side a muppet and not feel cheapened, and the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee can do so along side a CGI version, then I am not seeing the problem. (plus we don’t even know if the GotG will even be interacting with The Avengers. I’m betting not since that would be too many characters for one movie)

            All they have to do is bypass the quirky and cute “Yoda” phase and start off with the badassed version of RR and I guarantee you there will be no issues.

            • CGI Yoda was one of the few good things in the prequel trilogy, for sure. But your Star Wars analogy is an apt one, though, in my opinion, perhaps not for the reason you want.

              Star Wars is a great example of the writer thinking he “knew” the material better than his fans. Lucas repeatedly asserted that “it’s for kids” and there was this “small” percentage of his fan base comprised of grown ups who couldn’t reconcile that they weren’t really the target audience anymore. So he forced the fart jokes, Jar Jar stepping in poop and other winceable offenses, thinking that he knew better than his fan base.

              I admire Lucas, but there’s a lot of grey between turning his movies into Terminator (which he claimed the fans wanted) and turning it into banal fart jokes. Other greater writers have fallen on similar literary swords; your heroes deserve reverential treatment in canon. If you want me to respect Qui Gon Jinn, then level up the characters around him, tone down their fart jokes, etc.

              It is very hard to ask mass viewership to get behind a talking raccoon who is the “equal” of The Mighty Thor, or whoever. You said you weren’t sure why I’m stuck on the raccoon thing. It sounds like Saturday morning cartoons–but not of the Spiderman variety. It’s up there with Mighty Mouse, Under Dog, Captain Cave Man or the Animal Olympics. It just conjures up a whole world of trouble.

              I DO think they’re looking to cross-pollinate with Avengers. The story lines appear headed in that direction with Thanos and the increasingly “cosmic” slant on the threat to earth.

              • I’m not going to defend Lucas in any way shape or form because I disliked the prequel trilogy…..intensely. There were, as you said, a few bright spots but overall there was lot to not like. I kind of saw it coming with the inclusion of the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi (the one thing about the original trilogy I hated)

                What I have a problem understanding though is you obviously think Yoda is great but can’t see how he IS very similar to RR. Yoda suffered from ALL the same exact problems you insist will be this film’s downfall but yet he was universally loved by the general public.

                I also get the feeling that whenever you hear the name Rocket Raccoon and Star Wars you think Jar Jar Binks but I assure you RR is not the bumbling sidekick or comic relief (although I can’t guarantee there won’t be any levity, well no more so than in The Avengers).

                And RR is no more “equal” to Thor than say Black Widow or Hawkeye but that didn’t stop either of them from stepping onto the battlefield an equals, now did it ;)

                As to cross pollination……yes, that is what is being planned but I highly doubt the whole team will show up in the Avengers to help battle Thanos. You can have 10-20 heroes showing up in the comics but not in a movie situation. What I suspect is someone like Nova will arrive at Earth to tell the Avengers, “He is coming”.

                • As long as it isn’t a raccoon arriving to earth to say “he’s coming,” I’m good. (Or a walrus, or something else equally nutty.)

                  Re. Yoda.

                  You’re right, the inclusion of Yoda, as a primary character, in Empire was risky. It was also risky when they decided to let him use his lightsaber in Clones. I’d argue that, in the case of Empire, audiences weren’t watching movies the way they are today, and, in the case of Clones, the Star Wars brand was already tainted enough that we were eager to latch on to anything that didn’t suck as hard as the rest of it. Yoda flipping around and doing all that stuff was juvenile, but not nearly as much as C3PO saying, “Oh…I’m quite beside myself!” (Or whatever those horrible one-liners were in that movie.)

                  In 1980, audiences weren’t saturated with special effects in the same way we are now. It was harder to include a yoda in your movie, and pull it off, in part b/c of the skill required, and in part b/c of $$. These days, it’s cheaper, and more people can do it, and so, the threshold for the inclusion of a digital character is lower than it once was. (And Muppets are laughed at.)

                  The modern audience looks at these things very critically, and, I daresay CYNICALLY. A walking, talking raccoon IS fundamentally different from Yoda. Yoda has the advantage of not being associated with dumpster diving, he’s not going to be mistaken for a critter, he’s not of a known race or species, and he’s already withstood the test of time. He didn’t have to prove himself by today’s standards–no sure thing, if he had been introduced to audiences after Lucas had already lost their trust.

                  Any way you slice it, this is very risky for Marvel. I say: keep the properties separate. If you want Nova to pop in for tea, that’ll work. The Raccoon will lower the tone in an Avengers movie, even if it manages to be awesome in a Guardians movie, which I hope will happen, since you really like this character.

                  • Of COURSE RR isn’t the same as Yoda. That’s not what I was implying. It’s the concepts behind the characters that are the same (being “cute”, quirky, not taken seriously, silly name, etc). If you will recall, Yoda wasn’t above doing a bit of indiscriminate rummaging through other peoples belongings! ;) Funny, for me the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word raccoon is “rabies”. They are not a wild animal you approach.

                    And I’m not going to deny GotG is a risk but isn’t just about anything that’s new? I know a whole crop of people who thought Thor and Cap. would never work much less a group movie.

                    I’m also fairly sure that “Wal Rus”, “O’hare” and the other Halfworlders won’t be making their screen debut. That’s delving a bit too deep into one characters origin. this is going to be called Guardians of the Galaxy” and not “Rocket Raccoon”. I am not as sure about Cosmo but he also isn’t as necessary to the group as say Adam Warlock and Martyr.

                    This character’s inclusion is obviously a very polarizing issue and it will be up to Marvel to do the character justice. Yes, it can make the movie fall flat if they do a poor job but if done right……THAT is what I’m excited about (and I’m not usually a “glass is half full” type of guy).

                    Thanks at least entertaining the idea (if only for me :D )

                    • LOL, you’re right: Yoda did have a penchant for a bit of dumpster diving.

                      Marvel can do whatever they like with a GotG movie–they can host an entire army of RRs, w/in the GotG universe, if they want.

                      Of course, they can do whatever they want with any of their movies–they’re their properties.

                      Nevertheless, my wish for a happy ending for Rocket Raccoon notwithstanding, I will continue clinging to my wish for his character and my beloved Avengers not to share screen time together.

                      Maybe, after RR is established as the rockin’ on screen persona you’re hoping for, after the armored truck is backing up with RR and GotG gold, maybe then mainstream audiences will embrace him and want to see him interact with the A-list.

                    • Sorry to butt in on this…

                      I’m very new to TGOTG having only read the first two volumes of the recent remake, but Rocket Raccoon is an awesome character. It all comes down to how they play it when doing him onscreen.

                      For example “The Chronicles Of Narnia” films, although not perfect and aimed squarely at kids, did treat the animal characters very well. For example the wolves, fox, Beaver etc…

                      As long as they treat RR like a real character and only have the type of humour you’d expect with a real character (and not like Roger Rabbit), then I don’t think there would be a problem.

                      The one thing I’m not certain about is whether RR is supposed to be just a normal Raccoon with a developed intelect or a mutate/alien anthropomorphic Raccoon!???

                    • Motoko,

                      You can take Aslan out of Narnia and stick him in a Burger King commercial, and he’ll probably sell burgers well. You can take him out of Narnia and put him in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer, and he’ll probably survive.

                      The Dark Knight Rises likely wouldn’t survive with the inclusion of Aslan. Nor would a film like Raiders of the Lost Ark.

                      A Rocket Raccoon cameo in Avengers would likely yield the same result as dropping a talking Narnia character into the Avengers. Some people will love it, no doubt, but it will most likely dent the Avengers property for mainstream appeal.

                    • Aslan was in “Batman Begins” and is rumoured to be in “TDKR”…….or at least his voice was…….sort of. (^-^)

                    • Motoko…..RR was a normal raccoon taken from earth and genetically altered to be a servant/assistant for a alien insane asylum.

                      And the Narnia thing is an excellent example I hadn’t thought of. I didn’t see anyone hating on Reepicheep but he was done pretty much perfectly. 2′ tall mouse with a rapier sounds stupid but yet………

  5. @mongoose, please read my first mail. I didn’t say that character was lame (I’m not too familiar with the GofG comics to make that call). What I’ve been saying is that the NAME is lame. He can go by his (its?) alien name or something.

    A gun-totting alien raccoon with an attitude? Hmm. I reserve my comments. Hope we don’t have another Howard the Duck.

    • Well, Rocket Raccoon IS his real name. It was probably just “Raccoon” originally or maybe he had a more generic name like “assistant”. He also goes by “Rocky Raccoon” or “Ranger Rocket” if you prefer.

      The thing about the name though is it’s fairly inconsequential and really won’t negatively impact the character. I mean if a bipedal raccoon was pointing a huge assed gun in my face and he was introduced as “Rocket Raccoon” to me, I would pretty much be nodding my head and agreeing with him.

      There are way too many “lame” superhero names out there to be hung up on this one imho. Do you really think “Superman” is a great name? or Wonder Woman, Batman, PowerMan, Silver Surfer, etc. are any better? We really don’t think about their names anymore and just accept them at face value because we know them so well but it might be a harder sell if they were introduced new today.

      So if that’s your only hang-up then hopefully once they get into the movie they will prove RR is more than a silly sidekick/cartoon character. That is all it will take for us to accept him.

  6. The Avengers came out on May 4th. That’s in the spring, so did I miss something when they said that Captain America 2 would “test the waters” as the first Marvel spring release? Does May count as summer in Hollywood? I assume they do because the movie will still be out during summer…can someone clarify? This is one of those things that will drive me crazy.

    • Yes, in Hollywood terms, May is the first month of the summer blockbuster season.

  7. Kinda like Nolan introducing Bat Mite in his Dark Knight chronicles.

  8. It will be a great theme if Marvel launch a movie (or series of movies) base on the Annihilation storyline or a feature series on Nova (Richard Riders version) . . . The new story series of Nova as a Space Super Cop does open many possibilities & threads – not to mention the link of comic world to ‘Star Wars’, ‘Star Treks’ frontier . . . I think as a studio looking for new growth paradigm – I would seriously look into this ‘new frontier’ . . .

  9. I’ll bet that in Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos would defeat the Guardians, but the idea of Ant-Man joining The Avengers sounds weird, considering the fact that all he can do is alter his size and has the stength of an average guy when Ant-Man isn’t tiny. In fact, considering Ant-Man doesn’t have abnormal strength, the amount of strength he has is, of course, average. I don’t think Narnia would do well in Avengers, let alone a guy that can ONLY alter his size and doesn’t have abnormal strength against a purple alien from outer space. Based on what I know, it’s going to be the same characters from The Avengers, though I HOPE that they don’t kill off a main character, like Captain America. I mean, COME ON! He’s real good at strategies, and if he bites it, things will get real intense.

  10. When do I think Ant-Man should be released? NEVER, I mean at least a movie about The Defenders….