Marvel Studios is always planning years ahead. Even before the studio was formed as a self-financed production house, they had Zak Penn begin writing a script for The Avengers as far back as 2003 - nine years before it hit theaters after various draft updates and a complete rewrite from director Joss Whedon. For their next team-up epic, Guardians of the Galaxy, it's a similar story.
Guardians has always been a project Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige wanted to make a reality, and hence, they had a member of Marvel's screenwriting program (which began in 2009) draft a screenplay for a Guardians of the Galaxy live-action feature film. Now that the project has an official release date and greenlight, Marvel has found a writer to takeover scripting duties and work off of that draft.
The original screenplay was written by Nicole Perlman and now Marvel Studios has signed Chris McCoy to rewrite the script. Like Perlman, McCoy has no produced writing credits to his name just yet, but he has had three of his spec scripts land on the Black List - a list of Hollywood's best and hottest unproduced scripts.
Guardians of the Galaxy had its August 2014 release date confirmed at Comic-Con 2012 two weeks ago and with Captain America: The Winter Soldier already started to endure casting rumors (i.e. Anthony Mackie as Falcon), we're only months away from Guardians receiving the same rumor-infused treatment, as it'll enter production next year after Cap 2 and Ant-Man.
The film will be based off the Marvel Comic series of the same name, specifically the 2008 reboot by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. It'll build off of the mid-credits scene of The Avengers, which introduced moviegoers to the cheeky grin of Thanos, a mainstay villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe "Phase Two" storyline. The Guardians of the Galaxy roster includes (from left to right in image above) Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon and Gamora. The characters aim to protect Earth from extraterrestrial threats and some of them live for the sole purpose of stopping Thanos (Drax, Gamora).
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Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.
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