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


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.


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Vin Diesel Sub-Mariner

Just when we thought the dream casting stage was over, Vin Diesel‘s true Marvel Studios role is back up in the air. Yes, the Riddick star is set to voice Groot in next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but according to his statements in an interview with Extra host Maria Menounos this week, Diesel is also still on board for an actual physical part in the Avengers franchise universe. Specifically, he reiterates that his initial meeting with Marvel was for a Phase Three character that will debut in 2016. We’d heard that clarification previously but it was thought the Groot voice casting had replaced that other gig. Instead it seems Groot was just to appease Diesel’s fanbase while Marvel continues to work with the actor on the other 2016 thing. So, let the speculation ensue once again. What Marvel Studios Universe character could, should, would, will Diesel portray? The names on the table before are back on the table now, with good guy Vision and bad guy Thanos topping the predictions. Diesel hints that the role would involve a “merging of brands,” but that could be interpreted a number of different ways. He could be starring in a reboot of Blade for all that means, so long as they bring the vampire hunter into the Avengers world. He could be Namor, which would be another fine jab at DC’s weakness in getting their big properties onto the big screen (because Namor is Marvel’s Aquaman). Rights to a Namor film are […]


monsters unleashed 01

Two news items from the past week have me recalling a movie from nearly a decade ago: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. There was the announcement by Warner Bros. of a new animated feature based on the classic cartoon franchise, which is the obvious source of my considering Raja Gosnell’s live-action adaptations. Then there was the continued coverage of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, particularly the voice casting for its CG characters. That comic book movie is being helmed by James Gunn, who scripted both 2002’s Scooby-Doo and the 2004 sequel. I remember enjoying the latter a lot when it hit theaters, surprised that it was so much better than the misguided original and even more surprised that it was actually received worse by critics. But could I defend Monsters Unleashed today? I revisited the movie this week in the hopes of doing so, but I don’t think I can. And this isn’t some case of where my love for something as a kid turns out to be terrible after all. That’s reserved for Howard the Duck (which I still love anyway). I saw Scooby-Doo 2 in my mid-20s. No, I wasn’t high. Perhaps I was simply relieved the movie was so tied back to the initial series, Scooby Doo: Where Are You?, with its call-back of ghosts and villains, and that it was an improvement over the first movie, which had had the balls to turn Scrappy Doo into a bad guy (and featured Sugar Ray — blech). Somehow that […]


Rocket Raccoon

We reported last week that Bradley Cooper had entered into negotiations for the part of Rocket Raccoon in James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy. But for anyone waiting on the results with baited breath, hoping and praying that Cooper would sign on for the part, here’s some good news (or, if you’re not a Cooper fan, horrific news)- Marvel has just offered official confirmation that Cooper will be playing the walking, talking rodent in next summer’s superheroes-in-space epic. Count me among the cautiously optimistic. Before Silver Linings Playbook, I’d be among those clamoring for a quick recast, arguing that the only thing worse than Cooper as Rocket would be having the guy from Phantoms play Batman (and we all know that’ll never happen in a million years). But then Silver Linings happened, and Cooper knocked it out of the park as a man struggling with mental illness. Kevin Feige has described Rocket as a “genetically and mechanically altered… experiment,” while Gunn called him “the heart of the movie.” If Cooper can pull off something even remotely close to what he did with Silver Linings, then Guardians might be something truly special. Although it’s also got Vin Diesel as a walking, talking tree. So I guess it was already special. Guardians of the Galaxy will be in theaters August 1, 2014.



As soon as rumors that Vin Diesel was meeting with Marvel started flying around, all sorts of theories about which of their movies he was going to be in and which character they were looking at him to play started getting thrown around as well. After a few weeks or so of wading through everybody’s brainstorms and photoshop mock-ups, it finally became pretty clear that the movie Diesel was going to be joining was James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and the character he was going to be playing was the giant, tree-like member of the team, Groot. This revelation dashed hopes held by some Diesel fans that he would be playing a meatier part, like maybe the big nasty villain the Avengers are eventually going to face, Thanos, or even a red-faced android who hasn’t been mentioned as being a part of Marvel’s movie plans yet, the Vision. Were they really going after a star as big as Diesel just to voice a CG character who’s usually only able to say the words, “I am Groot?” A new interview Diesel did with Heat Vision not only confirms that Groot is indeed the role that he’s been talking to Marvel about, but also offers up something of an explanation for these questions surrounding the casting.


Guardians of the Galaxy

We’re still a year away from James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, but anticipation grows ever higher. Comic book readers are quivering in excitement over a more obscure group of heroes getting the big budget, big screen treatment. Non-comic book readers are scratching their heads, wondering what the hell is up with that raccoon. Well, in an upcoming Empire Magazine interview (scooped in advance by Comic Book Movie), Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has begun doling out all the details on Marvel’s weirdest upcoming movie. Those who don’t know the characters can now be quickly and easily filled in. Those who already know the characters will notice Feige making a few interesting changes. First, Feige introduces the five motley space-farers who make up the core team: “Rocket has been genetically and mechanically altered, he’s an experiment from one part of the galaxy. Groot is a species that happens to look like trees look, and is quite communicative if you can understand the different inflections in the way he says ‘I am Groot.’ Peter Quill left Earth in the mid’80s, but when we meet back up with him he’s very much a citizen of the universe. Drax has one goal and one goal only, which is to kill Ronan because of a past tragedy. When we meet Gamora, she’s a bad guy working with Ronan and Nebula and Korath, and by extension for Thanos. Gamora doesn’t necessarily like doing that anymore, and tries to find a new path for herself. […]



The fact that Marvel was passing over some of its better known properties to do a Guardians of the Galaxy movie during Phase II of the building of their cinematic universe always looked like a head-scratcher. The Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t just an obscure property, it’s a weird, obscure property. To Marvel’s credit though, they seem to have completely embraced the weirdness of this motley crew of space assholes and look to be intent on giving us an uncompromised version of them on the big screen. First, they hired the maker of some of the weirdest genre films we’ve gotten over the past few years, James Gunn, to come on and direct the film. Then they scoured the Earth for the exact right mix of sitcom actors, professional wrestlers, current big names, and surprising screen legends to make up its ensemble. The casting process on this film has seemed to take forever, but Gunn and his people knew that they were making an outside the box movie that would take some outside the box thinking, so they made the effort to make sure they had the perfect actor to get each character right, no matter what background that performer might have come from. One particular role has been left sitting, unfilled, all this time though. It’s the one casting we were most interested in hearing about when this movie was first announced, and it’s the one casting we still haven’t got any confirmation on. There have been rumors, whispers […]



This week saw the return of our favorite anti-hero, and I’m not talking about any characters from Kick-Ass 2. Yes, Breaking Bad was the talk of the week, and while that superhero movie sequel was discussed a bunch, it was unfortunately for mostly negative reasons. Maybe that’s why we couldn’t stop thinking about bigger superhero movies, namely of the Avengers franchise. Last Sunday, we got the hint from Vin Diesel that he’s voicing Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. A few days later, Simon Pegg messed with fans and movie bloggers by fake hinting that he’s playing the lead in Ant-Man. The former isn’t confirmed and the latter I don’t think is totally ruled out yet, but this trend of teasing us isn’t going too well. In the past seven days, FSR has brought you a look back at the hits and flops of the summer, a glimpse at the program for this year’s Fantastic Fest and new considerations of the work of Sam Peckinpah, David Gordon Green, John Frankenheimer and Katherine Heigl (one of these things is not like the other). We learned some interesting news about upcoming Pixar films and a fascinating fact about a classic Kubrick movie. And we gave most of the new releases grades in the C-range (at least we like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). As always, the Reject Recap is here to get you caught up on all these goodies and more. Start your weekend right after the jump.


Groot Guardiand of the Galaxy

Actor Vin Diesel has been playing coy about his possibly playing a role in a Marvel Studios film. You will recall back in late June he dropped a note on his Facebook page about being called in for a meeting and not knowing what for. We all speculated that he could be cast as Namor or Ant-Man or Vision or Thanos. When asked during Comic-Con for an update, all he would say is that we would get “some very big news coming at the end of this month.” Well, the end of that month (July) came and went and we got nothing. Then yesterday’s D23 presentation on upcoming Marvel movies came and went and we again heard nothing more on Diesel’s role in the Avengers franchise. So, when the heck are we going to get an announcement? The answer to that question is still unknown, but we did get yet another tease today from Diesel himself, once again via his Facebook page. And it’s the sort of hint that is either a total red herring or it’s a direct yet unstated revelation. Diesel posted a picture of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, implying that he’ll be voicing the non-human character. That’s really exciting for anyone who prefers their Diesel roles heard but not seen — a la the title robot in The Iron Giant. We’ll not only have to wait to hear official confirmation on this from the people at Disney, but we’re now also curious if the giant […]


Marvel Studios Panel At Comic-Con

We could write all about the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel from yesterday. We could dig through Twitter and the coverage from other sites and our own chats with some of the Marvel stars (coming later today) and give you a list of things we learned. Or we could just publish this video of the panel and let you make your own conclusions. That second option sounds great, as there is no perfect way to explain what happened when Tom Hiddleston took the stage in full character and turned a 6,000 person Hall H crowd into an army of loyal followers. Apparently we all just want to be ruled. All that trouble in The Avengers for nothing. So sit back and enjoy the Marvel Studios panel from the comfort of your own home. You’ll get updates on the more medieval Thor: The Dark World, the S.H.I.E.L.D.-heavy Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the out-of-this-world Guardians of the Galaxy and a little update about something called Avengers: Age of Ultron.



When we first heard that John C. Reilly had been offered a role in Marvel’s upcoming space odyssey, Guardians of the Galaxy, the story was that he was probably going to be playing a character named Rhomann Dey, who is a member of an intergalactic police force called the Nova Corps in the comics, but who would apparently be a SHIELD member who acted as a liaison to the stars in this story. This was confusing and made no sense. Why take an alien character with an alien name and arbitrarily turn him into some other human character for no reason? Why not just name this character something else? Well, it turns out the reason everything was so confusing was that it was all a bunch of bullpucky. All except the most important part—that John C. Reilly actually was offered a role in Guardians of the Galaxy. Luckily for us, a new report from Deadline not only clears up the confusion around the role that Reilly was offered, it also confirms that the actor is now officially on board.



What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup you’re going to want to be following if you want news about which cult movie icon has just been cast in Guardians of the Galaxy. If your eyeballs and brain have been anywhere near an episode of Mr. Show or Breaking Bad, then chances are you’re a pretty big fan of the comic stylings of the respected though curmudgeonly Bob Odenkirk. Well, good news for you, because Odenkirk just wrote a movie called Girlfriend’s Day that he’s also going to star in. According to a release from Magic Stone Productions and Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, Best Worst Movie and The American Scream helmer Michael Paul Stephenson will direct the film, which sees Odenkirk playing a famous author in a world where greeting card writers are celebrated as heroes. The film will apparently see Odenkirk’s character and his rivals engaging each other in a campaign of murder and deceit, all in the name of creating the definitive greeting card for the hot new holiday, Girlfriend’s Day. Sounds pretty weird, but in that good way.


Dr. Who signing - Glasgow

What is Casting Couch? A list of the weekend’s casting news, headed up by various Guardians of the Galaxy castings, but also including news on what’s up with Judd Nelson. The cast of Marvel’s space adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy, is getting so extensive, and so many actors appearing in it have been described as having a “lead role,” that it’s starting to get pretty confusing as to how all this stuff is going to fit into one movie. We’ve got intergalactic superheroes, intergalactic police, bounty hunters, liaisons to government agencies on Earth, and who knows how many other players introduced at this point. Nonetheless, Heat Vision has a report that the film has now cast its “lead female villain,” and the lady they’ve got to play the role is Doctor Who’s beloved companion, Karen Gillan. As if this balls crazy movie didn’t have enough geek cred already.



While most studios who make big blockbusters seem to pick from the same of-the-moment list of actors when casting their tentpole releases, Marvel Studios has set themselves apart by thinking outside the box a bit. They cast an actor many thought was a has-been as Iron Man, one who was mostly known for wisecracking as the stoic Captain America, and one who nobody had ever really heard of as Thor—and so far all the gambles have paid off. Perhaps not coincidentally, their next big property, Guardians of the Galaxy, seems to be the epitome of outside the box thinking. The film is adapting one of Marvel’s more obscure hero titles, it’s going to be populated largely by strange alien creatures, it’s set a sitcom actor up as its star in Chris Pratt, and it’s looking to give feature roles to awesome but lumpy-looking character actors like John C. Reilly and Michael Rooker. The movie is basically someone who roots for underdogs’ wildest dream. And now it’s being reported that director James Gunn is making one of his most interesting left field moves yet, as he’s taking Glenn Close, an actress most associated with high-minded, dramatic roles, and he’s putting her in a superhero movie.



What is Casting Couch? It’s not a fishing program on public access. It’s a place on the Internet to go to hear about actors landing roles. Today we have the latest on The Rock’s upcoming schedule, as well as a new member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. If you weren’t already on board to see a movie where Bill Murray plays a creepy old man who teaches all of his wrong-headed ways to his 12-year-old neighbor, then there’s probably something wrong with you, but St. Vincent De Van Nuys hasn’t given up on you yet. It’s latest strategy to lure you in, which comes after casting Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd as Murray’s co-stars, is to sign up Naomi Watts in the role of a Russian prostitute who Murray’s character likes to keep company with. That sounds both ridiculous and sexy, which are basically the two best ways anything can be. [Deadline]



A big team of superheroes, banding together to fight a larger evil force. There will obviously be more to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but the studio has got a winning formula that looks to be dipped in LSD and given the James Gunn treatment here. Fortunately, the director recently spoke with HeyUGuys where he cleared up some rumors and explained a few reasons why his forthcoming superhero adventure will be different from The Avengers (and from Star Wars as well). “In terms of a lot of stuff we’re very much like The Avengers, where it’s a very big, huge movie. It’s different because it’s cosmic, it’s in outer space, it’s very colourful. We have a whole history of science fiction behind us that we’re dealing with, and borrowing from, and also fighting with to create something unique. But at the same time there’s a lot of stuff it has in common with The Avengers.” So, a giant version of The Avengers set in outer space? Sounds great. Where do we buy tickets?


Michael Rooker

As we all know, Michael Rooker is fantastic. The man who got his filmic start as a murderer in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer has gone on to redefine intensity in a ton of roles and has most recently anchored The Walking Dead with a bizarre brand of lovable racism. According to Deadline, he’s now re-teaming with director James Gunn for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Slither reunion! Get excited. He’ll be playing the alien Yondu Udonta who rocks blue skin, a bitchin’ red mohawk and both of his original hands (until he, no kidding, gets his right one replaced by a device that converted into several different weapons). So this past season of The Walking Dead may have been one big audition tape. The character is also one with nature and kills with a bow that features arrows that can change direction at the archer’s command. Yet again, Marvel shows its superiority in casting.



What is Casting Couch? It’s the easiest way to stay abreast of who’s going to be doing what in the world of acting. Today we have casting news regarding the Veronica Mars movie as well as a look at what Chloe Moretz might be working on next. Given her experience playing a big, blue badass in James Cameron’s Avatar, Zoe Saldana is no stranger to embodying characters who aren’t exactly human—so that’s probably why James Gunn is looking at her to take the female lead of his upcoming Marvel Studios ensemble, Guardians of the Galaxy. Heat Vision is reporting that Saldana is currently in talks to join the film as Gamora, the Guardians’ resident green-skinned, sword-wielding assassin. If Saldana signs on, that would be all of the more human members of the Guardians taken care of, which would leave Gunn with only a walking tree and a talking raccoon to cast. Wish him luck when it comes to figuring that out.



If you haven’t had your coffee yet, now’s a good time to take it ocularly. For the most part, this Phase Two featurette from Marvel (via Superhero Hype) is a keen look into the world of Iron Man 3 with an eye to how they’re deepening the well while returning to it in order to make Tony Stark a richer character post-Avengers. The cast and crew, alongside Marvel head Kevin Feige, weigh in on how this trilogy entry is also a piece of a much larger puzzle. Then, they show some of the other pieces. The briefest of footage from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World is joined by test footage from Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, concept footage from Guardians of the Galaxy and a few comments from the filmmakers. At any rate, let’s stop pretending that you’re reading this and get to the video:



What is Casting Couch? A bunch of casting news, all in one place. Today we’ve got more news about that YA adaptation, Divergent, as well as a possibility for what the king of YA adaptations, Robert Pattinson, may be doing next. And there’s other stuff too. You don’t have to be a young adult to keep reading. There’s been a lot of casting talk regarding Guardians of the Galaxy lately, but strangely enough, it’s all been about the same character—Drax the Destroyer. First Jason Momoa was said to have been offered the role, then there was said to be quibbles over money, then someone got wind that Dave Bautista was being looked at as a backup, and now THR is reporting that Bautista has officially signed. All of the hullabaloo kind of makes you wonder if they’ve even started to think about casting any of the other roles. But, anyway, Bautista is a huge ex-pro wrestler, he’s something of a charmer, and while he’s not as cool as Jason Momoa, surely he’ll make a fine Destroyer of Thanos.

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