3. Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1 US & UK)
Not to be outdone by Sony and Fox’s summer blockbusters, Marvel Studios throws Guardians of the Galaxy into the ring. Based on the 2008 reboot of the surreal space opera-esque comic, Guardians centers around a human astronaut/pilot named Peter Quill (later known by the more badass name Star-Lord) who steals a preciousss from Ronan the Accuser, and is forced to team up with a genetically modified, anthropomorphic, sharp-shooting raccoon; a sentient tree creature who kicks ass; an undead green superhuman out for revenge; and a green assassin/huntress whom Jim Kirk would almost certainly try to schtup in a Star Trek crossover.
Anyway, there are no previews out, but here’s Marvel’s trailer-of-a-trailer (this is a thing now) just so you get the idea that a raccoon warrior is more awesome than it sounds:
Upon announcement that the movie was in development, Guardians seemed like quite a gamble to comic geeks, due to the risk of introducing the non-basement dwelling, moviegoing public to a motley band of lesser-known comic book characters. On the other hand, a) Marvel’s had huge success in using its films to catapult the formerly B- list Iron Man into one of the most recognizable superheroes in the world, and b) the public loves superteams, even when Jeremy Renner is involved.
There’s been a steadily building buzz around the ensemble cast (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Benicio del Toro et al.) since last summer’s announcement. As a comic geek myself, I’m excited to see how the film stands on its own merit, as well as how it integrates into the Marvel Movie universe (Infinity Gauntlet, anyone?).–GW