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'Guardians of the Galaxy': Alternate Designs for Nebula and Gamora

Three weeks into its release, Marvel's newest superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy is still #1 at the box office, having earned $253 million domestically in just 25 days. The space opera currently ranks as the third highest grossing movie of 2014, only behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Lego Movie.

Part of the movie's appeal can be said to come from its writing, which alternates between humor, action and drama with ease. But more than likely, a lot of it has to do with the movie's heroes: Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket and Drax. Yet one really can't forget the villains of the movie, including Thanos, Ronan the Accuser and Gamora's sister Nebula, played by former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan.

Nebul, in particular comes across as a crazy badass warrior, whose terrible past has left her bitter and empty. Just as in the comics, she has a cybernetic left eye and left arm, which she ends up losing to save herself in the movie. Still, the character is pretty restrained compared to what she could have been, according to unused designs from Marvel concept artist Andy Park:

#Nebula design I painted for @Guardians focused less on sexy & more on "can kick your a$$" #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy pic.twitter.com/BEaay6W2cs

— Andy Park (@andyparkart) August 21, 2014

Here's another #Nebula design I did for @Guardians Too much fun to work on! She's a #badass #marvel #conceptart pic.twitter.com/01ccjU9la3

— Andy Park (@andyparkart) August 21, 2014

And another #Nebula from @Guardians I painted during the concept phase. #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy #marvel #TooMuchFun pic.twitter.com/XXEglGvxuf

— Andy Park (@andyparkart) August 25, 2014

As you can see, Nebula was originally conceived with more of a grunge and cyberbunk look than a simply robotic one. In the first piece of concept art, she has some kind of electronic dreads going on and an ear-piece. In contrast, the second concept focuses on making the character sexier and more seductive with a more revealing look. Meanwhile, the last one looks a lot more like the Nebula we saw in the movie, even though she's posed like a general going to war.

Park was also nice enough to share two more pieces showcasing how similar looks for Nebula and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) could allow the characters to play off each other:

Most of my time on @Guardians was spent designing Gamora. Had tons of fun exploring her look #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy pic.twitter.com/XSq8kugBJL

— Andy Park (@andyparkart) August 11, 2014

Loved doing this #Nebula concept painting for @Guardians depicting the two sisters #Gamora #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy pic.twitter.com/KCmBEKN8Hh

— Andy Park (@andyparkart) August 25, 2014

Here's an early #Gamora design I did for @Guardians Before she had to be green #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy pic.twitter.com/2lfDhwk6Xk

— Andy Park (@andyparkart) August 12, 2014

Ultimately, the decision as to which concept art to use must have come down to what Marvel and director James Gunn had in mind for the movie. The version of Nebula and Gamora they ended up choosing shows the characters' differences more than their similarities. In the movie, Nebula has more of a cold, robotic look that means business, while Gamora maintained a more sensual and human-like appearance.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Which concept art do you think Marvel should have used instead? Or do you like the look that was used in the movie?

Guardians of theGalaxy is in theaters now.

Source: Andy Park (via CinemaBlend)

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'Guardians of the Galaxy': Alternate Designs for Nebula and Gamora