Images: Marvel Enterprises, Marvel Studios
With just over a week to go until Marvel’s next summer blockbuster hits our screens, it’s all systems go for the Guardians of the Galaxy cast and crew, who were out in force this weekend at the film’s international premiere in New York. A fortnight ago I caught a glimpse of the film (seventeen minutes of it to be exact) at a Marvel Imax fan event, and whilst I was already excited before the preview, I came out of the cinema that night absolutely adamant I had to book my tickets for opening night right away. Here’s a quick look at what we know so far about the team of unlikely superheroes, and why audiences should be very excited about August 1st:
1. Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper had never met until they went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the film.
It seems unthinkable considering they play two of the film’s leads, but as Diesel is portraying a seven foot tall humanoid tree called Groot and Cooper has lent his voice to a foul-mouthed mercenary raccoon dubbed Rocket…maybe it’s not so weird. According to Diesel the pair were never in the sound studio together, but judging from Groot and Rocket’s onscreen relationship, you’d be forgiven for thinking Vin and Bradley have been friends for years.
2. A certain Marvel fowl (with a cult classic movie of his own) might just make an appearance.
According to a leaked list of the full credits, that is. Stan Lee will also make his obligatory Marvel cameo, and erm, Rob Zombie is due to pop up too. Joss Whedon’s pal Nathan Fillion has also teased fans about a rumoured role and director James Gunn says that he thinks Guardians of the Galaxy has more easter eggs and nods to the wider Marvel universe than any other film produced by the studio so far.
3. 95% of the action will take place in space.
This was confirmed by Marvel studio boss Kevin Fiege earlier this year, who added that whilst Guardians of the Galaxy takes place in the same universe as the Avengers, it will serve as a standalone movie. Bad news for any fans hoping Iron Man might pop up, but it’s a safe bet there will be some reference to The Avengers: Age of Ultron in the mandatory post-credits sequence that has become the bane of cinema staffs’ lives worldwide.
4. It’s funny. Really funny.
Of course, humour is all a matter of opinion, but the seventeen minute sequence that Marvel showed off to fans earlier this month was a riotous affair with plenty of laughs that left audiences hungry for more. Of course trailer, featuring some classic seventies hair music in the form of Blue Swede’s ‘Hooked on a Feeling’, seemed an altogether more light-hearted affair than previous Marvel films. Of course, when your lead actor is best known for his work on NBC sitcom Parks & Recreation and The Lego Movie, having a sense of humour comes with the territory, and it looks like Chris Pratt was the right choice for the wisecracking Star-Lord.
5. It’s travelling in time.
Well, sort of. Guardians of the Galaxy is setting events in motion for Avengers 3, in which Thanos will play the big bad villain (to recap, Avengers 2’s antagonist is affectively an evil computer, which is a lot cooler than it sounds). Marvel are playing the long game, as always keeping fans guessing and allowing them to form elaborate online theories about just what’s going on in the fictitious universe.
For some Guardians of the Galaxy is just a pit stop to tide things over until next summer’s main event Age of Ultron, and at first Marvel appeared to have taken a risk in choosing to make a blockbuster centred on some of their lesser-known heroes. Yet the film is receiving positive early reviews and next to the slew of film sequels coming out this summer (Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to name a few) it might just be time for something completely different.