At long last we arrive at the stage in our discussion of Guardians of the Galaxy where we get into the casting a bit of good old fashioned speculation. As before, let’s begin with what we know so far, starting with the cast.
According to IMDB the cast as confirmed thus far includes:
Zoe Saldana – Gamora: This seems like a good bit of casting as Gamora is one of the most skilled martial artists in the Marvel Universe and Zoe Saldana has demonstrated some action ability in the past with her roles in The Losers and Colombiana.
Chris Pratt – Peter Quill/Star-Lord: Pratt seems like an unusual choice at first as the only thing he’s known for is his role as Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation. However, he beat several known actors for the role and Marvel is establishing a reputation for successfully casting relative unknowns (Chris Hemsworth) or flat out unexpected choices (Chris Evans) for major roles.
Lee Pace – Basil Sanhurst/The Controller: Pace has suddenly become very well known in the geek world since being cast as Thranduil in the Hobbit movies. We have yet to see much from him but it certainly looks like he can pull of the arrogance needed to play someone called The Controller.
Michael Rooker – Yondu: Yondu is part of the Zatoan tribe and is a blue-skinned hard-core warrior. And Rooker has the tough grizzled look necessary to make this believable. Interestingly, Yondu was part of the original Guardians team, making his inclusion here something worth paying attention to.
Dave Bautista – Drax the Destroyer: Bautista is a massive wrestler who has been in a few direct to video action movies, including The Scorpion King 3. He also has a role in the upcoming Riddick. It is a fair bet that his acting skills aren’t the sharpest but for a character known as “The Destroyer” they probably won’t need to be.
Ophelia Lovibond – This young actress has yet to have a major role but she has had a number of supporting roles in TV and film over the last several years. There has been no confirmation has yet but the initial announcement was that she was playing an assistant to The Collector, possibly his daughter. Judging by the way this has been sent down the truth hole, it is a fair bet that the information is accurate and that The Collector’s role in the story is something that is supposed to be a secret.
David Tennant – Rocket Raccoon (Rumor): In the geek world David Tennant is well known and generally loved as the 10th Dr. Who. As such it is quite likely that if this rumor pans out he’ll be able to match the impishness and brash arrogance of the genetically engineered hero.
Now let us turn to a couple of other tidbits that have surfaced.
One is that the Motorcycle Industry Association in the UK has been contracted to build some futuristic looking motorcycles for a film set in 2045. Coupled with the fact that casting calls from UniversalEXTRAS make repeated references to a “future of a different dimension” it seems highly likely that Marvel Studios will be importing the alternate universe mechanic so familiar to comic fans, a mechanic that plays into the origins of Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics. If you recall, the two different teams that have existed are actually from different dimensions. And as stated above, Yondu from the original team has been cast in the film.
The casting call also hints at many other roles from dark monks to albino aliens to really tall aliens, to mutant soldiers and more. Clearly there is a lot going on in this movie, even if a lot of it may only be in the background.
So, having looked at the history of the Guardians, the synopsis, casting and a few rumors, what can we conclude about the story that director James Gunn will be telling?
Let’s start with a quick recap of what we know for certain.
From the casting and various comments we know that the Guardians will definitely consist of the following characters:
Drax the Destroyer
We also know that Yondu from the original team has been cast though it is uncertain how he will play into things.
Based on the synopsis, we know that Star-Lord joins the rest at some point in the movie and that the alien members of the Guardians are ex-cons. There is also some kind of massive conflict going on, involving two or more alien races. Finally, we know that the Guardians are on the run and have something of great importance in their possession.
On the villain front, we know Thanos will be involved in some way and that The Controller will also be in the film, almost certainly as the main villain.
In terms of story and how things fit into the Marvel movie universe, director James Gunn has said that Guardians of the Galaxy will be very connected to Avengers 2.
Moving from certain to really likely, we have the casting of Ohpellia Lovibond as Carina Walters, the daughter of The Collector. We also know that at some point, Odin’s Vault has to get opened. I put this in the likely instead of certain category only because this could happen in any of the other movies between now and Avengers 3.
The alien races likely to be involved include the Badoon, the Kree and the Chitauri. It can’t be said for sure which ones will be involved but at least one and possibly two of those races will play an important role. There are also indications that the Nova Corps could find their way into the movie.
Finally, casting calls state that we are dealing with an alternate future.
With all of that fresh in our minds, lets dive right into speculation and see what we can come up with.
Let’s start with the “universal conflict” and who the races involved might be. Based on everything that we have heard so far, the origin of Star-Lord’s suit, the origin of Ms. Marvel’s powers, their connection with the Inhumans and potential relationship with the Chitauri, it seems almost certain that the Kree will be one of the waring races. And before you bring it up, remember that Kevin Feige as said a Ms. Marvel script is in development. He’s also mentioned the Inhumans as a future possibility a couple of times in the past. By introducing the Kree in Guardians the door will have been opened for both of those films to move forward. What of the other race? Right now, my money is on the Badoon. In the comics, they kill Star-Lord’s mother and they also destroyed Yondu’s homeworld. Add in the fact that they are presently playing a big roll in the Marvel NOW! revamp and Marvel’s willingness to introduce plenty of otherworldly elements in their films it would seem silly to not make use of those story elements. However, it is also possible that the role of the Badoon could be filled by the Chitauri. Given that we know Thanos is lurking behind the scenes in Guardians, it could be that he’s still using them to stir things up.
So what about the thing everyone wants? I have previously speculated that it is the Infinity Gauntlet since it is almost certain that at some point it will wind up with Thanos’ hand in it. However, if the big showdown isn’t coming until Avengers 3 it seems like Guardians is coming out too early to feature the Gauntlet in any sort of prominent way. So, what do they have? As stated in the last article, Pretty much all the big guns are locked up in Odin’ Vault. That is, all except the Tesseract. If you remember Captain America, at the end the Red Skull grabs hold of the Tesseract, and both disappear in a beam of light. It has been speculated that the Red Skull survived and will come up again later. And presumably the Tesseract will as well. It could also be that the portal that they would have disappeared into could have dropped them into the apparently alternate future of the Guardians. Thanos could get wind of this and send The Controller after it.
But now, how does Guardians fit into the next Avengers movie? Especially if Thanos remains in the background? Who is the big villain? This is where Carina Walters comes in. You might also want to remember a name I mentioned way back in part one of this breakdown: Michael Korvac. In the comics they are married for a while. That is until Korvac goes insane. You see, Korvac has been experimented on by aliens, by the Badoon if memory serves and has rather impressive abilities. So impressive in fact that it took the combined might of the Avengers and the Guardians to take him down. It is also important to note that this happened in the comics as well as season 2 of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
This would also require that Korvac be introduced in Guardians at some point. Perhaps it is The Controller who is truly responsible for his transformation into an insane force of destruction after experimenting with the Tesseract? Korvac could then escape to our world during the battle between The Controller and the Guardians, who then decided to follow him on their own or after being warned by Walters, thus setting up the Avengers 2.
Much of this is simply conjecture of course. We’ll be able to say more after the next Thor and Captain America movies which will surely feature a button scene focussed on the Guardians as well as a trailer likely placed in front of Captain America. Until then, I shall do my best to keep my eyes on the rumor mill and pass the information onto you faithful readers!