Comic-Con: Marvel Surprises with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Panel; James Gunn and His Cast Introduce Promising First Footage; New Concept Art Revealed

     July 20, 2013


While the official Comic-Con schedule listed Marvel’s panel as centering on Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we knew from experience to expect a few surprises.  As such, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was greeted with great applause when he introduced director James Gunn and the entire main cast of Guardians of the Galaxy earlier today in Hall H, all of whom flew in from the London set just to appear on the panel.  While filming only just got underway two weeks ago, fans were treated to the excellent debut of some footage from the pic, while Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Benicio Del Toro, Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou, Karen Gillan, and Michael Rooker teased what to expect from the film.

Hit the jump to read my full recap of the Guardians of the Galaxy Comic-Con panel.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-concept-art-finalFeige introduced James Gunn and cast members Michael Rooker (Yondu), Karen Gillian (Nebula), Djimon Hounsou (Koraf), Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector), David Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), and Chris Pratt (Star-Lord).

When asked how he approached taking on such a big superhero project, Gunn said that he’s doing it exactly the same as his other films.  He plans everything out beforehand.  He noted it’s important that he works with people that he not only respects but also likes being around.  They’re trying to do something new and different with Guardians.

Chris Pratt’s body transformation:

  • Pratt said “it was just weird timing, I got a tapeworm,” with regards to him getting in shape for the lead character.
  • He described Star-Lord as “this guy who lives in space.”  He said he’s kind of a jerk.  “He had a hard time as a kid and now he goes around space making out with alien girls just being a rogue, and through teaming up with these guys he finds a better purpose for himself.”

guardians-of-the-galaxy-concept-artZoe Saldana on Gamora:

  • “I’ve been blue once, so I thought why not try green?”
  • She said that Marvel not only gives the audience an adventure but also gives the actors the challenge to embody amazing characters.
  • Saldana’s nephew asked her who she thought Gamora is, and when she answered, “Well she’s this feisty warrior,” her nephew said, “Uh-uh, she’s an assassin.”

Bautista on playing Drax the Destroyer:

  • “I’m still to the point where I go to set every day and I can’t believe I got this job.”
  • Bautista says he fought really hard for this role, and when he got it he broke down crying.
  • Feige added that Bautista is gonna “freak people out” when they see him in the movie.

Karen Gillan shaved her head to play Nebula:

  • When Chris Hardwick noted that Nebula is supposed to be bald, Gillan took off a wig to reveal that she has shaved her head for the role.  She then promptly threw it into the audience.
  • She said that she was a little afraid that she was going to look like an overgrown fetus.

The rest of the cast:

  • Benicio Del Toro revealed that he hasn’t started the movie yet, so he’s meeting the cast for the first time today.
  • Lee Pace described Ronan as “a very complicated Kree,” noting that he’s an iconic character.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-rocket-raccoon-concept-artThey then rolled some footage from the film, which they prefaced by saying they’ve only been filming for 10-13 days.  The result, though, was a fantastic reel of much more footage than expected.  The entire thing was 100% James Gunn, as there’s a strong undercurrent of irreverent humor throughout; the footage was backed by “Hooked on a Feeling,” if you need further proof.  Pratt’s Star-Lord is a mix between a Wild West badass and a juvenile delinquent.  We saw the entire Guardians gang—including Groot and Rocket Raccoon—being rounded up in a space prison, as they were “checked in” by John C. Reilly’s character.  Again, there was a great sense of humor to the proceedings, as Groot stepped in and Reilly said, “What is that thing?”  Pratt’s Star-Lord was giving Reilly and his cohorts the middle finger while being scanned.

We saw a few flashes of action, but the big takeaway is that Guardians is wholly a James Gunn film.  It’s weird, there are a lot of great creatures (the makeup on Bautista and Saldana was impressive), and it’s really funny.  The footage ended with Reilly’s character finishing the check-in and then quipping to his colleague, “What a bunch of a-holes.”

Closing thoughts:

Given that we didn’t even know there was going to be a Guardians panel, this was a solid surprise.  The cast is unexpected and charismatic, and I really love what we saw of Pratt’s Star-Lord.  Moreover, it’s reassuring to see that Gunn hasn’t toned down his sensibilities for the Marvel film.  Guardians of the Galaxy opens on August 1, 2014.

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