There were five characters confirmed to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy when Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige officially announced the film at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, using concept art to showcase the roster. The villainous Thanos was unsurprisingly confirmed months later, bringing the total to six, three of which will likely be CG-animated, and three that could be played by actors with prosthetics and makeup.
Latino-Review nabbed the scoop last week which indicates that Marvel's "at the moment" focus is on fleshing out the characters of Star-Lord (center), Gamora (far right) and Drax The Destroyer (far left), by giving them "visual and backstory updates" so they mesh better with the style of the cinematic universe.
But what about Rocket Raccoon? And poor Michael Rooker, he loves raccoons (and as a friend of director James Gunn, would love to voice this one in particular)!
The smallest and furriest (albeit deadliest) Guardian has been the "poster boy" character for Marvel since the film's announcement. Before unveiling the official Guardians of the Galaxy logo to 6000 anxious fans during the Iron Man 3 Comic-Con presentation, Marvel even had Rocket Raccoon artwork on the screens. Even in the Marvel NOW relaunch of the comics, Rocket Raccoon is getting spotlight attention. He even has his own mug.
That's not going to change. At this point, there's no reason to discount any of Guardians of the Galaxy characters. Groot, the walking tree, doesn't say too much in the comics so there's fewer expectations there. Rocket Raccoon however, will hold his own in the film relative to his humanoid counterparts when it comes to screen time. No matter what, the raccoon - as a supporting character or otherwise - will get memorable moments in the action sequences.
What this simply means is that the overarching narrative of the film may follow the backstory of the three humanoid characters, since their origins in the books tie directly into Thanos, the grinning villain from the post-credits sequence of The Avengers who will return for both Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2.
Star-Lord for instance, was the focus of the unofficial logline (below) for Guardians and could serve as the audience's anchor into the cosmic setting for the film.
About a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.
Gamora is the last of her species and an adopted daughter of Thanos, but eventually turned against him after a brutal and violent upbringing. Drax The Destroyer on the other hand, was a human who after an incident with Thanos was re-purposed with the sole desire of hunting him down. As you can imagine, their (more grounded) origins are more crucial to the story than a raccoon from a planet of genetically enhanced animal companions and an alien tree who's died multiple times in the comics. Chances are, all of their origins will be altered slightly if the logline is anything to go by.
These three also all have ties to other cosmic characters long-rumored to show up in Guardians of the Galaxy, including Nova (also spotlighted in the Marvel NOW artwork above) and Adam Warlock. So, it's almost a certainty that there will be even more humanoid characters on top of those already announced. Be sure to check out all the concept art and find out the latest on the villain Thanos.
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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