Guardians of the Galaxy made Screen Rant’s list of most anticipated movies of 2014 for a variety of reasons. It’s the most obscure, risky and different project from Marvel Studios yet, one that meshes together several genres we love. It’s directed by James Gunn whose got the unique vision for the ambitious story and on top of all of that, it features an unexpected but inspired cast playing the most outlandish characters in the franchise yet.

The early, conceptual footage that debuted at Comic-Con this summer – just days into filming – blew us away even though it was largely unfinished. It was all we needed though for our first glimpse at Chris Pratt as Star-Lord and the rest of his unlikely team of odd heroes. Today we have our first official look at the Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel to compare against the concept art.

The Guardians of the Galaxy first-look photo was shot on one of the very first days of filming. It depicts the roster of characters from a brief sequence featured in the Comic-Con teaser footage. Thanks to the recent official confirmation of Vin Diesel voicing the largest of the group, we can properly introduce to you the cast (from left to right: Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, and Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot):

Click HERE for high-res version!

Now, we can compare to the new and old official Guardians of the Galaxy concept art:

The still comes attached with the official Guardians of the Galaxy synopsis in Disney’s 2014 movie preview.

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases August 1, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Ronan the Accuser began as a villain in Marvel Comics but doesn’t remain that way. We’re curious to see how the character’s arc, his people (the Kree) and his motivations are handled in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what his relationship is with Thanos – the big bad villain we briefly met during the credits of The Avengers.

As for Peter Quill and the mysterious orb we saw at Comic-Con (our photo above) – it’s a safe bet it ties into the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World which introduced Benicio Del Toro’s ‘Collector’ character along with a major revelation regarding the Infinity Stones. Read all about that here, if you dare (beware of potential spoilers!).

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Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn off of his script co-written by Nicole Perlman. The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Glenn Close.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Sources: Disney, James Gunn, Empire (via CBM)