Marvel Studio has been making headlines of late for two films that have yet to shoot a single frame of footage - the currently-directorless Ant-Man and the still officially unannounced Doctor Strange (which now has a director) - in addition to one movie that'll reach theaters in under two months: writer/director James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, which shall take moviegoers to a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that, quite literally, they've never seen before.
The Guardians property is - for your average non-comic book enthusiast, that is - about as obscure as they come, which is why most of the film's trailers and TV spots have been primarily focused on introducing the main players - and showcasing Gunn's offbeat comedy style, along with the expected Marvel movie fireworks, at the same time. To recount, the central characters in Guardians are human thief Peter "Star-Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt), deadly green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), tatooed muscle head Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), humanoid tree thug Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and deadly genetically-altered Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper).
... Or, as a member of the NOVA Corps (read: space police) describes them, "What a bunch of a-holes."
A new Guardians of the Galaxy extended TV trailer - which premiered during the NBA Finals game last night - also runs the gamut of the film's main characters, while also establishing the cause that inspires them to become a family and help others: an enemy that threatens the entire galaxy.
One of the forces of evil in the movie is Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace); according to the actor who plays him (speaking to Yahoo! Movies, via THR), Ronan is "like Osama bin Laden - a religious fanatic," though also very much an alien whose morals and motives shouldn't be equated with anything especially human - as Pace put it:
"At first, when I started working on him, I was thinking, 'We've seen so many great performances of villains by very talented actors in superhero movies. I've got to find something relatable about this guy... It just became, like, the more dark I could conceive of him, the more I understood him."
Of course, there's an even bigger baddie pulling Ronan's strings in Guardians - and he goes by the name of Thanos (previously seen in the Avengers mid-credits scene), who we now know will be played by Josh Brolin in Guardians.
Those aren't the only ties between Gunn's movie and the rest of Marvel Shared Universe, but fortunately it seems as though the film should have a lot of entertainment value to offer - a blend of Marvel fun, Star Wars-ian space-capades, and good ol' geek pop culture weirdness - even for those moviegoers who aren't so invested in the shared continuity of Marvel films.
As Star-Lord puts it (quoting the tagline from the film's official poster), "You're welcome."
Guardians of the Galaxy opens in U.S. theaters on August 1st, 2014.