Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy PosterRelease Date: August 1, 2014

Directed by: James Gunn

Written by: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning

Starring: Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista

Synopsis:

In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan.

Nova Corps

Given the relative obscurity of the characters that regularly get featured in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” title, it’s always been something of a curiosity as to why they’re the next priority when it comes to the movies Marvel Studios is making. Couldn’t they be spending their time and resources introducing characters that have a little bit more mainstream recognition into their film world? The logical answer to this question has been that, seeing as The Avengers are likely to be going up against the intergalactic conqueror Thanos in The Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy will be the vehicle through which Marvel’s extended cosmic universe gets introduced. Just imagine if The Avengers 2 had to do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to who Thanos is, why he’s such a threat, and what exactly he’s been getting up to across the entire universe for all these years. The movie would be completely bogged down with exposition and unable to enjoy all of the brevity in storytelling that being a Part 2 usually affords a film. But introduce a number of alien worlds in this Guardians of the Galaxy movie, have Thanos lurking in the background as an unspeakable threat, and suddenly a lot of the narrative load is taken off of The Avengers 2’s shoulder. Plus, you might create a bankable new film franchise to boot.

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Jason Momoa

Drax the Destroyer is a member of Marvel’s intergalactic team of superheroes The Guardians of the Galaxy, and like the Incredible Hulk before him, he’s basically a big green guy who likes to wreck things. Given the character’s stature, where is Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn going to find an actor big enough to pull the part off? According to Latino Review, he must have looked toward HBO’s Game of Thrones, because they’re reporting that Marvel has just offered the role to actor Jason Momoa (meanwhile, THR says he’s only tested). Momoa was one of the actors who tested for the character alongside names like Isiah Mustafa, Dave Bautista, and Brian Patrick, and apparently the imposing presence and physical charisma that he’s shown in things like his role as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones and his turn as Conan the Barbarian in the recent relaunch of that franchise was enough to get him an offer. It should be noted that Momoa’s people were said to have countered the offer, so the negotiations are still in progress rather than the signing being official, but given the fact that Momoa’s initial attempt at starring in a big franchise film, Conan, underperformed at the box office, one can’t imagine that he’s going to be making any unreasonable demands in the face of being offered another role in a big tentpole flick.

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Chris Pratt

Briefly: Deadline Hollywood has just revealed – rumored short lists be damned! – that Chris Pratt (Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball, Parks and Recreation, and lest we ever forget, Everwood) has landed one of the key starring roles in James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy as Star-Lord, a.k.a. Peter Quill and and the de facto leader of said Guardians. A number of other actors had been rumored as possibles for the role – including Joel Edgerton, Jack Huston, Jim Sturgess, Eddie Redmayne, Lee Pace, Zachary Levi, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with this being the first we’ve heard of Pratt as as possible for the role. In short, what an awesome surprise.

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John Krasinski

The deluge of rumors concerning James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy continues unabated. This time around the source is Comic Book Movie, who says they have a shadowy operative close to the production and his or her latest round of snooping has led them to believe that not only is The Office’s John Krasinski the latest in a parade of actors to read for the role of Peter Quell, but that there’s also a shortlist of actors being considered for the role of the Guardians’ resident green guy, Drax the Destroyer. Rumor has it that Generation Kill actor Brian Patrick Wade; that guy from the Old Spice commercials, Isaiah Mustafa; and former professional wrestler Dave Bautista are all being looked at. Presumably they’re in some Hollywood back lot right now, letting Gunn take test footage of them destroying things.

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Michael Rosenbaum

As if the casting situation regarding the lead role for James Gunn’s upcoming Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, needed to get even more heated, today brings news that yet another candidate has been reading for the lead role of Peter Quill: AKA the half-human, half-alien intergalactic cop called Star-Lord. Michael Rosenbaum, who’s no stranger to the comic book world given his many years playing Lex Luthor on TV’s Smallville, recently took to his Twitter account to inform his followers that, “Read for my pal @JamesGunn GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for PETER QUILL. What a treat! Thanks Jimmy. @Marvel.” If you can’t read Twitterspeak, that means Rosenbaum now joins Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zachary Levi, and Jim Sturgess in the stable of actors we’ve heard are up for the role.

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Joseph Gordon Levitt

Now that Marvel Studios has been wildly successful at turning some of their most popular comic book properties into hugely profitable feature film series, the publisher turned movie house is taking the next step in their development by trying to prop up one of their more off-the-beaten-path properties as the next big thing. Said property is a ragtag team of intergalactic superheroes known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. The team, which includes characters like Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Gamora, is going to be brought to the big screen by director James Gunn (Super) in a big budget feature that’s scheduled for an August 1, 2014 release.

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s been out of work since casting agents seem to be treating the week between Christmas and New Years as one prolonged food coma. If there’s one thing that Jurassic Park taught us, it’s that nature finds a way. Well, casting finds a way too. In a week where there isn’t any news getting leaked to the trades, leave it to Albuquerque Business First to break a new scoop. The eagle eyes over at The Film Stage noticed that, in an article about how that Michael Fassbender-starring rock and roll comedy called Frank is coming to town to shoot, the local source managed to break the news that Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town with it. Her involvement in the film sees her joining a cast that includes not just Fassbender, but two of the young MVPs of 2012, Domhnall Gleeson and Scoot McNairy, as well. Which, you know, makes her one of the luckiest ladies in the world.

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hr_Alvin_and_the_Chipmunks-_The_Squeakuel_1

What is Casting Couch? It’s the movie news column that’s easing into Christmas with a cup of coffee and some casting reports. Let’s take this one step at a time. Marvel Studios is on such a roll now that any movie they make that ties directly into their upcoming Avengers 2 is going to be a big deal—even if it’s based off of a comic book that nobody’s ever heard of like Guardians of the Galaxy. So, the competition among young actors to get cast as the Guardians’ leader, Star-Lord, is pretty fierce. According to Variety, that competition has been narrowed down to two guys. The trade reports that Jim Sturgess is the sole survivor of the original crop of five actors the studio screen tested for the role, and Zachary Levi impressed so much playing the smaller role of Fandral in Thor 2, that Marvel is looking to give him a larger role in their universe by maybe making him the half-human, half-alien leader of this ragtag crew. Who would you find more believable commanding a gun-toting space-raccoon?

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Guardians of the Galaxy

What is Movie News After Dark? According to everything that has happened in tonight’s entry already, it appears to be quite inquisitive. All of your questions and more will be answered. Tonight’s lead story is also tonight’s leading non-story about leading men. Who will be the leader of Guardians of the Galaxy, the next big Marvel Studios project that supposedly has James Gunn in the directors chair. Deadline offers up a list of guys who you’ve seen on the big screen recently, courtesy of Tammy’s brother Joey’s cousin Suzie who knows a guy, but not that well. So there’s that.

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So, what are you guys doing on, oh, say November 6, 2015? Not booked yet? Your iCal is empty? Your day planner doesn’t go up that far? Well, we’ve got plans for you now. In one of the most innocuous press releases ever crafted, Disney has today sent around a listing of some new and updated release dates for some of their most anticipated features, sandwiching in Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man release date (yup, it’s that November 2015 one listed above) between stuff like like “Disney Animation Untitled” and “Pixar Animation Untitled.” Oh, and also? Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World will both be in 3D. Dimensions and money and stuff! After the break, check out the full listing of new and updated dates for ten new Disney features (including, admittedly, some details we’ve long known). And, never fear, you’ll also soon learn the release date of that Phineas and Ferb feature we’ve all been dying for.

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James Gunn

Real talk: my knowledge of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is deeply limited and I completely loathed James Gunn‘s Super, yet the news that Gunn was potentially being tapped to helm the feature film for the studio quite pleased me. At the very least, the filmmaker is a bold, interesting choice who clearly has an affection for “comic book movies” (and Troma and cartoons and zombies and a whole bunch of other cool stuff), which can only serve fans of Marvel properties well. Also, the guy apparently also likes raccoons, so I might have to stop being so harsh on him. Gunn has now taken to his Facebook page (via ComingSoon) to confirm his involvement with Guardians, writing in a post just this morning:

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James Gunn Super cast

At this point, it’s not surprising when Marvel picks a left field director for their movies. They’ve practically made a formula of choosing filmmakers that the public would scratch their head over. In that grand tradition, Marvel is reportedly looking at James Gunn (Slither, Super) to handle their forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. This is awesome. A protege of the Troma School of Movie Mayhem is going to graduate to Marvel. Repeat: the dude who made PG Porn is a few negotiations away from getting a big budget and bunch of superheroes to play with. Can’t beat that. Of course, Gunn was also the writer behind Scooby-Doo and the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake, so he’s not exactly a stranger to the mainstream, but the bulk of his work is not the kind that would inspire non-ironic action figures. That’s part of what makes this a genius idea. The other part is Gunn’s sense of humor and clear love of genre work. This choice may be from beyond the bleachers, but it’s inspired, and it could lead to a hell of a movie. Plus, it probably means at least one of the heroes gets to use a wrench on his enemies.

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The above image shows off Tony Stark’s latest creation, the Mark VII (I think that’s what we’re on) Iron Man armor that will be seen in use for the upcoming Marvel Studios film Iron Man 3. In the wee hours of the Comic-Con morning, it was unveiled at Marvel’s booth, where Stark’s Hall of Armor has been standing guard all weekend. Later in the day, the likes of director Shane Black, producer Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. took the stage to show off the first footage from their movie. They also brought Marvel’s Kevin Feige along with some other special announcements up his sleeve.

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From the looks of it Django Unchained, Pacific Rim and Anything Marvel Does Forever are topping the list of the most anticipated movies hitting Comic-Con 2012. The question is, with 400 million (number estimated) other movie panels showing up in San Diego, how will you possibly see everything? And how can you see anything if you aren’t going to be there? Since the list of events is massive, we’ve teamed up with 14 other movie websites to make sure that every inch of the convention center is locked down. Consider this your portal, bookmark it, and return often to check out the full spectrum of coverage from ours and other fine sites. To get started, here’s a small look at what all of us are most excited to see.

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Marvel Logo Collage

Well, we do know that it’s not Black Panther (and remember those heady weeks – er, days – when we thought that might be true?), and apparently we’re now on the Guardians of the Galaxy beat (thanks to a report from Latino Review last week), but without any full confirmation on what the upcoming “secret” Marvel movie is, we’re left to play with hard and fast facts. Like release dates. Box Office Mojo reports, in what is surely a bit of pre-holiday clean-up, that the still-secret Marvel movie has now moved from May 16, 2014 to August 1, 2014. And, just like that, we’ve got nearly three more months to talk about this thing. Over at /Film, friend o’ the Rejects and superhero fans everywhere, Germain Lussier prognosticates that this move is, in fact, a confirmation that Guardians is this next Marvel film. His take holds that a late summer date is a far better choice for an unproven franchise that will be a “harder sell” in the earlier summer months. Giving it an August date gives it room to breathe – and succeed. With Comic-Con on the horizon, we’re surely in for some kind of big announcement on the project, so sit tight, Marvel fans.

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