When Marvel’s Kevin Feige began talking about adding the quirky team of intergalactic heroes known as the Guardians of the Galaxy to their cinematic universe, it signaled a definite change in tone and scope. The film is shaping up to be wildly ambitious, and the opening salvo in what could be many set in the outer reaches of deep space. As production gears up, the cast is still being finalized and the many offbeat story threads tied together, and now we’re learning details on how Marvel plans to bring the action from the comics to the silver screen.
According to HitFix, the character Rhomann Dey will be a major part of the story, but not quite like he was in the comics. Dey is essentially like the Abin Sur character in the Green Lantern mythos. He was a leader in the elite Nova Corps, who after crashing on Earth and near death, chose the human Rich Rider to become the new Nova. Marvel has made an offer to John C. Reilly to play the part, and if he does it will essentially make him the “Agent Coulson” of the ‘Guardians’ team. Basically, the character has been completely retooled to be the human go-between, informing SHIELD of their various activities.
Does this mean that we can expect to see Nova in the film? Not exactly, but we do already expect to see the Nova Corps in there somewhere, although it’s unclear in what capacity. What’s more, Dey is expected to have a peer or liaison on Earth, and the names being kicked around for the role are Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, and Ken Watanabe. So basically someone commanding with an international flavor.
Chris Pratt may have seemed like an unlikely choice to play Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, the team’s leader, but Marvel have plans for him to be their new Robert Downey Jr. Quill isn’t the billionaire playboy that Tony Stark is, but he’s funny, heroic, and has a way with the ladies (alien or otherwise), all traits Pratt should be more than able to fill.
We’ve heard Zoe Saldana talking quite a bit about her role as the green-skinned warrior, Gamora, but HitFix suggests she has yet to fully commit to the role. If that’s true, then it’s probably just a matter of time. Like practically every member of the team, Gamora has a strong connection to Thanos, and it sounds like they are making some small changes to tie her in even more. In the film version, she is the last of her kind after Thanos wiped out her planet when she was an infant (in the comics it was the alien Badoon who did it). Raised and trained by Thanos to be a superhuman blade-wielding warrior in his service, she eventually turned on him when his evil nature became clear.
Drax, who will be played by ex-WWE star Dave Bautisa, seems to be virtually unchanged. He was still a saxophone player on Earth named Art Douglas who was killed by Thanos in the Mojave Desert. His spirit is then taken by the Titan known as Kronos and placed within a powerful new body and christened Drax the Destroyer, whose only purpose is to destroy Thanos.
The CG characters like Rocket Raccoon and Groot will have major parts to play as well. We can expect to run into Rocket and his first mate Wal Russ, a talking walrus of course, as they are guards in the intergalactic Keystone Quadrant, an asylum for the mentally insane. Groot’s actions on Earth will put him in the crosshairs of a familiar face, one Nick Fury, who convinces the plant creature not to experiment on humans but to become their protector instead. If Fury’s around, the door is definitely open to see other characters from previous films.
Just because the bulk of the cast is associated with Thanos does not make him the villain of the piece. Instead, it looks like it will Michael Rooker as Yondu, who in the comics was a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy squad from the far-flung future. He’s billed as being some sort of space pirate, which doesn’t exactly fit, so there may some major reworking of his character being done for the benefit of the film.
Perhaps most intriguing of all is Lee Pace, who came aboard in a mystery role a few months ago. He’s set to play a villain, at least at the early stages of the story, but will eventually switch over to the side of good. All of this would be in the setting up of his own spinoff film, which makes the question of his character’s identity all the more interesting. Could he be the all-powerful Adam Warlock, who began as an evil creation but was transformed by the power of the Infinity Gems, Thanos’ weapon of choice? It would seem to make sense from a storyline standpoint, but it’s unlikely that Adam Warlock would be considered spinoff material. So what about Vance Astro, otherwise known as Major Victory? He was a member of the same Guardians team as Yondu, and would later become a member of the modern day version, utilizing Captain America’s shield and adopting a similar attitude. The most obvious choice, though, is that Pace would be playing Mar-Vell, the superhero known as Captain Marvel. One of Marvel’s most iconic characters, his involvement would lead pretty easily to the introduction of Carol Danvers aka Ms. Marvel, who many expect to be part of The Avengers 2 in some capacity.
Having worked on three Marvel movies already, the duo of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have come on to do a final touch up on the script. So…Nova….Nick Fury…spinoffs…Guardians of the Galaxy is shaping up to be a huge, unpredictable new chapter in Marvel’s cinematic gameplan. We’ll see how it all comes together on August 1st 2014.