Film News

Guardians of the Galaxy News: James Gunn Confirms Fillion Cameo, Kevin Feige Talks Thanos, Early Footage Reaction, Close Look at Villains

It’s little more than a month until Marvel Studios takes their biggest risk since they gave nearly $200 million to the guy who made Elf to make a comic book movie starring the guy who was once fired from Ally McBeal for liking drugs way more than acting.  So far so good as the internet seems positively gaga over Guardians of the Galaxy, but will a more general audience than geek-minded folk like myself turn out to meet Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel)?

Ah, who the heck knows, but Marvel Studios sure doesn’t want to leave that to chance.  So, they are gearing up the hype machine.  In fact, the news cycle and promotion surrounding Guardians is gaining such momentum that it’s been hard to keep up.  So, here are some of the latest stories gathered into one place:

1. James Gunn Confirms Nathan Fillion’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Cameo – He’s Just Not Playing the Person We Thought (thehollywoodreporter.com)

Nathan Fillion is the type of actor who would go to Comic-Con just for fun even if he had no official “business” reason to be there.  He’s also the type of guy who will make time in his Castle shooting schedule to guest star in a small, wonderfully weird role in Community just because he’s a fan of the show and had become chummy with some of the people behind the scenes.  As such, it sure seemed to make sense when LatinoReview told us they were hearing that Fillion would cameo in a post-credits sequence as the Marvel hero Nova in Guardians of the Galaxy.  Well, actually, it only kind of made sense.  Fillion has been buds with Guardians director/writer James Gunn ever since he starred in the director’s horror-comedy Slither (2006), and as the former Captain Mal Reynolds from Firefly/Serenity he’d fit right into the very Firefly-like, sci-fi world of Guardians.  The problem is that Fillion is 43-years-old, and of the two Novas that have headlined Marvel titles in the last nearly four decades both have been teenagers.

Nova as he appears in Disney’s Ultimate Spider-Man

So, Fillion showing up for a minute or two in Guardians?  Yeah, I’d buy that, but playing Nova, an historically teenage character who is a member of what is essentially Marvel’s version of the Green Lantern Corps. of intergalactic police?  Not so much.

James Gunn turned to Twitter to clear things up:

So, there you have it: Fillion is in Guardians of the Galaxy, but he’s not Nova.  Of course, the current Nova in the comics (and on DisneyXD’s Ultimate Spider-Man) only ever became Earth’s Nova because his father Sam Alexander, a Nova Corps. officer, was presumed to have died.  Fillion could certainly play Sam Alexander.

2. Kevin Feige Reveals the Obvious: If Guardians of the Galaxy Does Well There Will Probably Be a Sequel (screencrush.com)

What I have been reading about Guardians of the Galaxy for quite some time now is that it is such a financially risky move for Marvel Studios that they are treating it as a bit of a one-off, not committing to ever bringing the characters back except for maybe in an Avengers sequel.  However, this is still the company that apes James Bond and has lines like “Captain America Will Return” and “Thor Will Return” close out the credits of Winter Soldier and The Dark World respectively.  Those characters have starred in movies which have made enough money to warrant that kind of confidence.  For Guardians to join that club the movie first has to do well, which Kevin Feige more or less confirmed at the CineEurope convention:

There are dozens and dozens of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ storylines. There’s a group that came about in the ’60s, were revamped again in the ’80s and they changed into this incarnation that you see in this movie about eight or nine years ago. So there are a lot of other characters and worlds and stories. So should this film work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take it and we have ideas of where we’d like to go with it.

Translation: if you want a sequel then turn out and support the movie, you bunch of nerds.  Well, probably not that “nerds” part.  That’d just be rude.

Regardless of whether or not Guardians ever earns a direct sequel, the assumption held by many has been that Guardians ultimate purpose would be to flesh out more details about Thanos, helping us to better understand the guy who was secretly behind the Chautari invasion in Avengers and is now to be voiced by Josh Brolin.

thanos-avengers-guardians-o
If we still mistake Thanos for Hellboy by the end of Guardians they won’t have done their jobs properly

This could then lead to an Avengers 3 in which Thanos is the villain, and based on how well their film does the Guardians character could even show up to bridge the gap.  That general scenario still seems highly likely, although Marvel may not want to truly tackle Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet (like an intergalactic Nintendo Power Glove) until even later than Avengers 3.

Either way, Feige confirmed the assumption that Thanos’ role in Guardians will ultimately lead back to the Avengers at some point:

We learn a little bit more about him in this movie, and he — and his band of followers — is the biggest piece of connective tissue that will eventually lead us back into Avengers films in the future.

3. Geek Out – Somebody Just Compared the Early Guardians Footage to Firefly (totalfilm.com)

Kevin Feige screened some extended clips of Guardians for a select few in Barcelona last week, and here’s what TotalFilm had to say about what they saw:

Guardians Of The Galaxy has its feet firmly plonked on the ground, thanks in no small part to its likeable, ragtag team of central characters…  Rocket was something of a standout, with Cooper adopting a not-hugely-recognisable drawl for the cute-but-deadly trouble-maker… We didn’t see enough of [Michael] Rooker’s performance to get a true sense of the character, but he looked awesome, with bright blue skin and a red mohawk.

The choreography of the [prison] sequence was impressive, not only in how it juggled the roles of the Guardians, but also the innovative action itself… and the ever-present humour.

As impressive as the action was – think the dusty, weathered sci-fi reality of Firefly on a much bigger scale – it’s actually this bunch of characters we’re excited to spend more time with. Just as Iron Man’s secret weapon was having a hero who was more interesting outside of the suit, Guardians promises characters that you’ll be invested in before the explosions start. Roll on summer.

4. What If Star Wars Was More Like Guardians of the Galaxy? (slashfilm.com)

Okay, this isn’t really a news item as much as it just a cool video.  It comes from The Unusual Suspect on YouTube, who edited the entire Star Wars Trilogy into a trailer more in the spirit of the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer:

This type of mash-up as well as TotalFilm’s comparison of Guardians to Firefly does seem to speak to a thirst among certain fans for the next great space opera, desperate for Guardians to be that Serenity sequel we never got.  It’s not hard to see why because a really good space opera would feel like something legitimately different than what’s going on with other big budget movies right now, although that’s partially down to Jupiter Ascending having been pushed from this July to next February.

5. Empire Magazine Debuts Their Exclusive Guardians of the Galaxy Covers (empireonline.com)

Here’s the one with the Guardians:

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Empire-cover

That’s cool and all, especially the little labels pointing to each character helping us to understand that even if we don’t their names we are more than familiar with their general character types (well, maybe not so much “raccoon”).  However, a hero is only as good as his, or in this case, their villains, and for as little as I know about the Guardians I know even less about the villains since the only two we’ve met to this point – Thanos, The Collector – seem like they’ll just exist on the periphery.  It might get into spoiler territory, but from what I gather from the comics the film’s main trio of villains – Ronan (Lee Pace), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Korath (Djimon Hounsou) are all basically doing it (whatever it is, exactly) for Thanos.  So, let’s get a good look at them:

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Empire-cover-bad-guys

Amy Pond (Karen Gillan, on the right in the picture) looks like a Doctor Who alien now.  Seems right, somehow.

Unlike recent Marvel Studios films, Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be coming out overseas several weeks before it does at home.  Instead, Guardians is due to debut internationally July 31st and then in  the US and Canada as well as a crap ton of other countries on August 1st.  It should be an interesting promotional period leading up to that.

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