As mentioned earlier, Marvel had more up their Comic-Con sleeves than just Avengers and killer robots from the future, and the most surprising had to have been their Guardians of the Galaxy panel.
Everybody expected the cast to be there, and some mysterious castings to be confirmed, but audiences in Hall were then pleasantly shocked when director James Gunn treated them to actual footage from the film.
First up though, the casting. There’s been lots of rumours swirling around about who exactly is playing what, especially on the side of the black hats. Well Marvel Studios exec Kevin Feige, who revealed the the film was actually only on Day 13 of production and that the cast had flown in from the UK especially for the panel and were flying straight back again straight thereafter to continue shooting, introduced all the cast and their roles.
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Starlord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector and Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer.
Chris Pratt spoke about his character (via Bleeding Cool) saying that “Star Lord goes around space making out with hot alien girls and being a bit of a jerk. It’s through teaming up with the Guardians he finds a greater purpose.”
Hounsou described Korath as “a great ally to Ronan and Thanos,” providing the only reference to the purple-skinned big bad glimpsed in the post-credits sting of The Avengers.
Del Toro revealed that he hasn’t started shooting his scenes yet, and was just getting to know his castmates.
Gunn also went on to say, contrary to Bautista’s downplaying of it, that the ex-professional wrestler actually landed the part not because of his physical resemblance to Drax, but due to his acting ability. He revealed that Bautista auditioned for the role “six or seven times”.
To many fans’ dismay, there was no mention made about who would be voicing the CG-created characters of Groot and Rocket Raccoon. However a certain member of the cast had an even bigger surprise up her sleeve, or rather on her head. Karen Gillan, who became famous for playing the red-haired Amy Pond on Doctor Who, whipped off what was revealed to be a red wig to show off a cleanly shaven bald head, much like her character sports in the comics.
But that’s not where the surprises ended as Gunn revealed several minutes of the film, which they must have pushed like crazy to complete in time. Here’s a blow-by-blow (via GeekTyrant) of what was shown:
It opens up on a desolate alien world, and we see Peter Quill, aka Starlord, walking inside some kind of ancient temple. He moves in to steal an old alien orb. He’s then interrupted by a small team of alien cops with big ass guns drawn on him. Their leader [Korath], played by Hounsou, orders him to “Drop it now,” and asks Quill who he is. “Starlord,” he replies, expecting some kind of reaction. “Who?” [Korath] asks. “Starlord, man. Legendary outlaw… Forget it.”
Then there’s a shot of someone using some kind of wrist tech thingy, and we’re in an alien prison. It then cuts to Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly), who reads through five holographic rapsheets for the Guardians of the Galaxy, who have been arrested. The characters include — Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, “a personal death machine,” Rocket Raccoon, who has over 50 charges of vehicular theft and prison escapes, Groot, described as a houseplant and muscle, and then Starlord.
While talking about Peter Quill calling himself Starlord, Quill did this thing where he cranks up his middle finger as if it’s a crank. Afterwards, he says something to the effect of, “I’m sorry. I’m not sure how this machine works.”
Later, Quill is in prison and Drax is listening to his personal stereo, which is playing a bouncy “gamba gamba” tune. Quill rushes in for some reason and gets tasered.
They then go into an awesome montage of action shots, including an alien shooting a gun, a prison riot, Gamora kicking ass, Rocket Raccoon going ballistic on a shootout with a hilariously vicious look on his face.
The footage concludes with Reilly saying, “They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy,” and one of the guys working with him says, “What a bunch of assholes.” And we see the five of them lined up, like the Usual Suspects — similar to the image above.
That sounds incredible with just the right blend of snark and action, and the footage apparently went down gangbusters with everybody in Hall H. I especially like how Marvel is playing on the fact that Starlord and his fellow castmates are not exactly household names, with very few people outside of the hardcore comic-book fanboys (present and accounted for here) actually knowing who they are.
This corner of the Marvel universe is one of the most creatively interesting and entertaining, and by the sounds of things, is looking to be a big hit.
And I know that this would never happen, but if Marvel could just make “What a bunch of a-holes” the film’s tagline, that would be superb.
Guardians of the Galaxy will be flipping off/out audiences on August 1, 2014.[Sources: Collider, GeekTyrant]
Last Updated: July 22, 2013