Whether at your local theater (now showing Thor: The Dark World in 2D and 3D) or in the comfort of your home (with Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. airing Tuesday evenings), there's plenty of room for anyone/everyone to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now. This sandbox is going to get even bigger over the next two years, with Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man joining Marvel Studios' movie lineup. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting superhero residents of Hell's Kitchen - Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage - will each get their own Netflix series, culminating with a teamup on The Defenders mini-series.
With so many aliens, super-powered humans and men/women armed with cutting-edge technology running around in the MCU (to mention nothing of rival studios' comic book films and networks' superhero TV series), it's going to become increasingly difficult for any one property to distinguish itself; especially, given the tendency for overlap in tropes and archetypes in the superhero genre (for example, see the sheer number of costumed warriors with daddy issues).
Today, we've rounded up an interview with Ant-Man co-writer/director Edgar Wright (The World's End) - along with comments made about Guardians by star Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) - where they address that particular issue; and thus, explain why their respective Marvel projects aren't just 'yet another superhero film.'
Guardians of the Galaxy
We've included the video of Saldana's interview with MTV at the top of this article, but here is a transcript of what the actress had to offer about Guardians (read: why director James Gunn's superhero movie is special):
"[it's] a new way to view superheroes. I love sometimes the consistency of what the classics have left behind, but I need innovation. You can only have so much of, 'I'll save you!' After a while, it's 'Oh God, does he go to the bathroom? Is he hungry?' It's like, 'Does he cry? Does he feel?' and not only do we cover that, we're making heroes that are thieves! They're Robin Hood's and I love that because I like the underdog and the hardest route because that's the only one that's going to teach you great lessons in life.
"These characters are absolutely amazing and they have a full blown redemption. To be able to sink your teeth into such meaty characters and to be part of such a story that is very unique and obviously has everything that I love. It has space, it has a kooky director that literally has cojones. It has amazing actors that you literally would never have thought to put together and somehow we're all here giving 150% and loving what we're doing."
The mid-credits scene in The Dark World offers an early sample of Gunn's "kooky" space adventure, with many a fan having drawn comparisons between the Guardians tease and the old-fashioned campiness of the alien planets and other-worldly characters found on Doctor Who. Similarly, Saldana's comment about how the film "literally has cajones" aligns with our Rob Keyes' description of the Guardians Comic-Con sizzle reel (featuring everything from a raccoon with a machine gun to Parks and Recreation's Chris Pratt as a inter-galactic thief who likes to flip the birdie at his oppressors).
As for the film in general, Saldana's comments are unsurprisingly supportive; yet, they also echo those made by Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige, who has likened the creative experience on Guardians as being on par with making the original Iron Man movie. (Read: Lots of excitement about getting to introduce such a strange property to moviegoers.)
Here is what Saldana offered, on that subject:
"I never like to shoot myself in the foot to seem that confident that I may come across as arrogant, but I'm rooting for it a great deal because it was amazing. What we shot and what we left on the screen there were pretty amazing things and I hope, and I have a feeling, that James is going to capture it very beautifully. I'm happy to have worked with someone like James because not every day do you meet somebody that is absolutely who they are and you cannot compare them to anybody else. There's only ever going to be one James Gunn and I like that."
Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters on August 1st, 2014.