Sunday, July 27, 2014

Meet the Members of the Team - #GuardiansOfTheGalxy

From Comic Book to Screen
Just Who Are
The Guardians of the Galaxy?”

In 1969 the team of by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan, created a new band of unlikely super heroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy.  The Guardians were first introduced as a team of heroes in the 31st century—each member the last of his kind. The idea of creating a cinematic project from that concept had much going for it—not only a remarkable group of characters operating within an amazing universe, but also an opportunity to explore another side of the Marvel Universe.

“One of the things we found most exciting about Guardians,” explained executive producer Jeremy Latcham “is that the characters are not heroes but a group of outlaws and misfits who meet in prison. They’re mostly a selfish and self-interested group who care little about anyone. Yet this team of people is thrown together with the stake of the entire galaxy on the line and come together to save it.” 

So just who are the members that make up this team that guards the galaxy?


Peter Quill is an interstellar adventurer who was abducted from Earth at a young age. After recovering an ancient artifact, Quill must rally an unlikely team of cosmic misfits to prevent a powerful villain from destroying the galaxy. Chris Pratt, IS Peter Quill, is an interstellar adventurer. When talking about the casting of this pivotal roll, producer Kevin Feige shared,  “We auditioned many actors for the role, and conducted a number of really detailed screen tests, and Chris Pratt, by far just won the part. He was cool, he was sexy, he was ridiculously hilarious in certain aspects—which he has to be—and when he puts on the costume and he puts on the mask and he’s holding his space guns, you believe it.”  Co-producer Jonathan Schwartz points out that the Peter Quill character, being the only human, is the eye of the audience. He explains, “Quill comes from Earth; he has this very specific frame of reference and his frame of cultural reference stopped in the ’80s, so along the way in the movie he’ll make references to movies and TV shows that he grew up watching. As he moves along, Quill comments on the aliens and strange environments as if he were looking at them like the viewing audience. Quill’s the only being on the team who can comment on those things and be the audience’s window into that world.”


Gamora is an orphan from an alien world who was raised by the mysterious Thanos to become the perfect weapon. As Thanos’ personal assassin, Gamora has earned a reputation as a formidable warrior. Gamora now seeks redemption for her past crimes.  Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, a deadly green-skinned assassin, who is Thanos’ adopted daughter. Saldana already had plenty of otherworld experience, but readily admitted she was not familiar with “Guardians of the Galaxy” before Marvel approached her about the role. During a recent interview Saldana revealed, “I’ve always had an affinity for unimaginable stories: simple stories told in unimaginable places, which obviously enters the category of science fiction, and I was fascinated with the world presented in this story.”  Saldana was cast quite early in the process and director James Gunn credits her with influencing the role significantly while working with him on the character through several drafts. Says Gunn: “Zoe has brought a lot to the role of Gamora working with me to create a strong female character who is also very flawed. She is fearless in the role because she doesn’t aspire to be liked all the time.”


A physical brute, Drax has a personal vendetta against Ronan, who killed his family. Now fueled by pure rage, Drax will stop at nothing to take his revenge on the most dangerous being in the galaxy.   Four time World Heavyweight Champion, and two time WWE Champion Dave Bautista took on Drax—a quiet yet physical brute, obsessed with avenging the death of his wife and child. The casting of Drax was a tough one for the filmmakers, but from the very first read, David Bautista, who is also the longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history nailed it. “Dave did an amazing job over the course of the auditions that really showcased who we wanted this character to be,” added Kevin Feige, “which is on the surface very strong and almost frightening, but when you dig deeper, when you spend some time with him, you find a sensitive side.”  Director James Gunn adds, “I just can’t imagine anyone else doing the role but Dave Bautista; he is exactly what I imagined as Drax. He is able to do the emotional aspects of that character, the humorous aspects of that character, the physical aspects of that character and talk like a Shakespearean oddball. Dave is able to do all of that and it comes so naturally.”


Rounding out the Guardians team are Rocket, a genetically altered, cybernetically enhanced talking raccoon, and his friend Groot, an advanced humanoid tree creature, voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, respectively. Describing the two unusual characters, director James Gunn says, “Rocket is not the happiest guy in the world. He’s a sad, malformed creature who has been taken apart and put back together again. He has experienced a lot of pain in his life and is grounded as a result and, because of that, is probably the heart of the movie in many ways, much like Groot, Rocket’s only real friend, who can only communicate with three words, yet his story breaks your heart.”  Ultimately much will be owed to the voices of the characters, so their casting was hugely important to the filmmakers. Explains producer Kevin Feige: “The most important thing is that Rocket doesn’t seem like a cartoon. We had designed the character and it looked awesome. So it really came down to the voice.


 Director James Gunn elaborates, “We auditioned a fair amount of people for Rocket. We auditioned a lot of voice actors, all of whom were either too cartoony or couldn’t pull off the dramatic points in Rocket’s story. We auditioned a lot of regular actors—famous and otherwise—and they often couldn’t pull off the comedy. Bradley is able to do both comedy and drama and able to create a character both real and unique. Once he
was interested in the role, I felt strongly he was the one. The
first time I heard him do Rocket, I knew he was our guy.”  Director James Gunn elaborates.  For actor Bradley Cooper, doing voice-over for a character was a first. “The whole process is so new to me,” said Cooper. “It’s like an education every time and it’s interesting.  There’s a lit of humor and a lot of heart in this movie. All the relationships are very clear and emotional and the stakes are obviously high and with the flavor of James Gunn, it has a comedic appeal to it. I think people are going to be blown away by how unique and fresh this film is.”


When talking about the casting of Vin Diesel as Groot, the enthusiasm is apparent. Gunn readily shared, “Vin brings as much to his role and to the movie as any other performer. With just a handful of lines and hundreds of grunts he creates a character completely out-of-this-world that we still love. I can’t imagine anyone able to balance gruffness and sweetness like Vin—and that’s really what’s at the core of Groot. Sometimes I watch Groot on screen and—even though I stood beside Vin through every moment of his recording—I can’t believe the voice is coming out of a human being. He truly channels the character in an almost supernatural way.” Commenting on Vin Diesel voicing Groot, Feige adds, “Involving Vin Diesel in this is great fun. He is an unbelievably passionate guy. When I called him and asked if he would be interested in playing a character that’s a tree and says only three words, without hesitation he said, ‘I’m in.’”Diesel admits that Groot’s one line of dialogue sold him on the character. He explains, “How they were able to reinforce the theme, the meaning and the message of the whole movie in one line of character dialogue impressed me. And how that line translates in the third act is really going to be something that allows the audience to feel like they are part of this world and understand the stakes and what the characters are going through.”

Here's a Sneak Peek of "Guardians of the Galaxy" 

Now that you’ve met the Guardians, the only question that remains is will space adventurer Peter Quill be able to stay ahead of the bounty hunters that are after him after he "accidently" steals an orb coveted by a treacherous villain, and more importantly once discovers the powers the orb holds, will he find a way to rally the quartet of ragtag rivals hot on his trail to save the universe? Find out when “Guardians of the Galaxy” opens everywhere on August 1, 2014.

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