Because Marvel's upcoming space superhero adventure Guardians of the Galaxy is about a group of (sort of) good guys teaming up, it's only fair that the movie should have multiple antagonists as well. Thanos, who has been lurking in the background of several dark plots in previous Marvel movies, will continue to pull on the puppet strings of the universe. The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), who made his first appearance in the after-credits scene for Thor: The Dark World, also seems to be up to no good.
The main opponents that the Guardians will face, however, are Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and blue-skinned space pirate Nebula (Karen Gillan). Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in particular has a lot of history with Nebula and, as with the other Guardians, has her own personal motivations for going after the villains that luckily happen to align with the goal of saving the galaxy.
Out of all the weird and wonderful creatures and aliens in Guardians of the Galaxy, Nebula was the one picked out for a feature in USA Today on this summer's blockbuster movie characters that are predicted to become iconic (if they aren't already). When interviewed about the role, Gillan explained that Nebula certainly has her reasons for turning bad, but that won't necessarily make her sympathetic:
"[Nebula is] unapologetically so mean. She gets such an enjoyment from what she does, and what she does is so bad... She completely has a reason for being a sadist, but that may not be apparent to everybody else.
"It really, really helps to change so drastically physically. It did half the job for me. I feel like people were slightly more intimidated by me."
Gillan very much threw herself into the role, training for two months to tackle the physically demanding fight scenes (including a showdown with Gamora). She shaved her head completely and spent five hours in make-up every day in order to obtain the "bald, cybernetic look" that director James Gunn has said was his main reason for including her in the movie. Check out a new image of Nebula's signature look below.
Although Marvel characters are scattered across multiple studios, one unifying factor across all the movies so far has been a cameo from comic book legend Stan Lee. In January, however, Lee said that he would not be in Guardians of the Galaxy due to the fact that they are "the one group I didn't create," and he was "not even sure who they all are."
While a cameo from Lee isn't really a make-or-break factor in Marvel movies, it would have been sad if Guardians of the Galaxy was the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which he did not make an appearance. Thankfully, it seems that the recent reshoots for Guardians of the Galaxy included the filming of a scene with Lee. It's only fair since he did, after all, co-create Guardians team member Groot.
Variety reports that Lee confirmed his cameo during a panel at C2E2 over the weekend:
"I [filmed the cameo] already. I can’t tell you what it is, but I can tell you I do not understand what it was or why I did it. It has me with a girl — a very pretty girl — that’s all I can tell you."
In a space adventure movie with blue alien pirates and talking, gun-wielding raccoons, it's understandable that even Stan Lee might have been a little confused as to what was going on. As for the "very pretty girl," with quite a few attractive ladies in Guardians of the Galaxy it's anyone's guess which one he was referring to. Glenn Close, perhaps?
Guardians of the Galaxy is out in theaters on August 1, 2014.