Rumour: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY's plot and villain details revealed, including John C. Reilly's role

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Out of all Marvel’s future movie endeavours, the one that will most definitely be the most challenging will be director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on a comic only really known, but immensely loved, by the biggest comic geeks around (count me in that group), it also features a foul mouthed, talking raccoon and a giant, sentient tree Prince.

So how will Marvel translate the Guardians to the screen? Well, we don’t quite know, since everything has been kept firmly under wraps, but now it looks some details may just have slipped out. No details are confirmed yet, but there is still a SPOILER WARNING on this.

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So here’s what we knew previously: Chris Pratt has signed on to play Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, the alien/human hybrid leader of the group; Dave Bautista will be Drax the Destroyer, killed by Thanos (yes, that Thanos) as a human before having his soul transplanted into a new suped up body with the sole mission of killing the mad Titan; Zoe Saldana has all but confirmed that she will be Gamorra, last member of her race, raised and trained by Thanos to be “deadliest woman in the universe” but switching sides to the good guys when she finds out his plans; Michael Rooker would play Yondu, a bow-wielding member of the classic Guardians team, who it was assumed would just be a cameo role; and the Nova Corps, the intergalactic peacekeeping force, whose most well known/powerful member, Earthling Richard Ryder, would be partially responsible for forming the Guardians.

Now HitFix seems to have unearthed some more info, some which not only expands on what we knew – like the fact that Zoe Saldana is all but locked in at this stage, with makeup tests already happening – but also completely changes a number of things.

Firstly, while the Nova Corps is definitely in the movie, they will have a far larger part to play than previously expected. Also, instead of the Richard Ryder cameo that everybody is expecting (to perhaps spin off into his own movie), Rhomann Dey, head of the Nova Corps and the guy that recruited Ryder in the comics, will apparently play a huge role, acting as “the Agent Coulson of the Guardians movies”. Even stranger though, is that instead of being an alien, as he is originally described, Dey will now be an Earthling as well. Marvel have apparently offered the role to John C. Reilly, and he would be working with “a key liaison back on Earth”, who could possibly be played by either Hugh Laurie, Alan Rickman or Ken Watanabe.

I would assume that as the Guardian’s “Agent Coulson”, Dey would now be responsible for putting the team together, but its still unclear just how he does that, as the characters seem to be quite scattered across the narrative landscape. Gamora and Drax’s stories seem to be pretty much unchanged, and apparently we’ll even get to meet Rocket Raccoon along with his fellow anthropomorphic animal friends at Keystone Quadrant, the intergalactic asylum for the criminally insane where the humanoid animals are used to help treat the patients. However Hitfix are reporting that Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury will somehow have a part to play in convincing Groot – the sentient tree mentioned above – not to experiment on the human race, but to help to defend it. I don’t recall Groot ever doing any human experimentation in the comics.

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The biggest change though, apparently comes on the sides of the black hats. It seems that Michael Rooker’s Yondu will not just be some kind of longtime fan wink, but rather the alien superhero is set to actually be the film’s main villain. Now while Rooker as a villain is definitely an idea I can get behind, this is the rumour that I have the biggest doubts about. Not only would it be weird for Marvel to choose a character that’s never been anything but heroic in the comics to act as the baddie, but Yondu’s not exactly going to be much of a threat against the current heroic lineup.

In the comics, Yondu is an alien born in the 31st century on the first extraterrestrial world colonized by humans, and it’s there where he meets Vance Astro, the time displace Earth hero who goes on to form the original Guardians teams. However Yondu’s abilities are essentially just that he’s a great hunter with a mystical sixth sense. That’s it. Thanos, he is most definitely not.

If this rumour turns out to be true and he is indeed a villain, I’m going to guess that he will be forcefully turned to the dark side as a lackey, much like Hawkeye was in The Avengers. So who’s going to be doing the turning?

Well, it would seem that Lee Pace will actually be donning a black hat as well, as the film’s second villain. Now if you recall, Pace was initially up for the part of Star-Lord, but lost out to Chris Pratt in the end. However, Marvel and Gunn were so impressed with him that they called him back for a different unspecified role. A villainous role, by the sound of it. And while his identity has still not been revealed, HitFix are saying that Marvel are looking to set him up for a spinoff movie, as the character will apparently be switching sides from bad to good during the course of the movie.

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In my mind, that leaves only one option for his identity: Adam Warlock. Or more precisely, his evil alter ego Magus, who will then revert back to his heroic side, Adam Warlock, who was also a long time member of the team. As a so-called celestial Messiah, Magus would certainly be powerful enough to give the Guardians a valid threat, and fighting for his redemption would certainly make for a compelling narrative hook. And Pace actually looks the part.

Now as mentioned above, none of these details have been confirmed yet, these are all just according to industry sources, however everything appears to fit – including my theorizing – with Marvel’s current approach to comic book canon, by tweaking everything ever so slightly to fit in, but still allow all the comic book craziness to shine through. And crazy is definitely Guardians of the Galaxy‘s middle name (well besides for “of the”). Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor: The Dark World writing duo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, are currently giving the screenplay a new spit polish, so it could be that these details might change, but I’m I’m really liking what I’m hearing here. The characters are big and the ideas and scope even bigger, which exactly the type of out there space opera that Guardians of the Galaxy needs to be.

 

Last Updated: May 28, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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