James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy has racked up a number of cast members already, but garnering specifics on exactly who everyone is playing has proved to be a little more difficult. A few of the lead roles are concrete - Zoe Saldana will be Gamora, Dave Bautista will be Drax the Destroyer, and Chris Pratt will be Peter Quill A.K.A. Star-Lord - but for most of the other announcements, all we have are actors' names with a lot of speculation attached.
One thing's for sure: the Guardians won't want for adversaries. Doctor Who's Karen Gillan has reportedly been cast in a villain role, joining Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace and the recently-announced Benicio Del Toro. It's more or less confirmed that Thanos will be involved in the plot somehow, but it's uncertain whether he'll be at the forefront of the film's dark forces or if the heroes will instead be facing off against one of his subordinates or rivals.
According to a "reliable source" at Comic Book Movie, Del Toro will be playing Taneleer Tivan A.K.A. The Collector. It became public knowledge that Tivan would feature in the film when Ophelia Lovibond joined the cast and it was revealed that she would be playing an aide to The Collector, but our guesses for Del Toro's role were that he would either be playing Ronan the Accuser or Thanos.
Since Del Toro is contracted to appear in multiple installments within Phase Two and Three of the Marvel cinematic universe, it seems that The Collector will be one of the recurring villains, not unlike Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
For those not familiar with the comics, The Collector's name is quite an apt one. He's an immortal with billions of years under his belt who, like many old people, takes up a hobby in order to keep himself from going insane. The effectiveness therein is debatable, as while The Collector does collect useful or powerful artifacts from across the galaxy, he also frequently attempts to collect people - including The Avengers and other heroes of the Marvel universe - for 'safekeeping'. And you thought your grandmother's shelf of ceramic dogs was bad...
Keep in mind that this isn't an official announcement from any named member of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast or creative team. However, CBM seem pretty confident in their source, and Del Toro could be an excellent fit for the role.
Plus, a multiple-film deal for the man who's going to play The Collector makes a certain amount of sense. After all, in the comics, The Collector is canonically immune to Thanos' girlfriend, Death (though admittedly most comic book characters have trouble dying with any kind of permanence), which presumably means he could be involved in an Avengers 2 or 3.
Take a look at the assembled cast and rumors for Guardians of the Galaxy, and let us know if you can figure out a possible story for the Guardians' first adventure.
Guardians of the Galaxy is out in theaters on August 1st, 2014.