They might both be space adventures, but Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige isn't out to copy Star Wars with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Speaking to Empire about the film, which will be the first to really explore the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige responded to the Star Wars comparison by not just pointing out the differences between the two franchises, but also by pointing out that with Guardians, Marvel has a very specific goal.
"We’re not making this to make Marvel’s Star Wars," he said. "We’re doing this to explore the other side of the existing Marvel Universe. The fact that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a human from our time, that he carries a personal cassette recorder with him, already it’s very different. It’s not a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s now in a galaxy far, far away."
When asked where the film fits into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, Feige noted that Guardians is "certainly" more of a standalone film than the other Marvel Studios productions thus far, but the use of Thanos in the flick definitely gives it at least some connection to The Avengers. He also said that, though it's never specifically stated exactly when the events of Guardians are taking place, "it's the same time" as the other Marvel Phase Two films. He also, once again, confirmed that Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) is the main villain — though "Thanos is lurking above it all."
Then Feige was asked to break down the five main characters who make up the Guardians team, and gave a brief summation of each character. So if you're not familiar with the Guardians, or you've just been wondering how these characters would be portrayed in relation to their comic-book forms, consider this your cheat sheet:
"Rocket [Raccoon] has been genetically and mechanically altered, he’s an experiment from one part of the galaxy.
"Groot is a species that happens to look like trees look, and is quite communicative if you can understand the different inflections in the way he says, 'I am Groot.'
"Peter Quill left Earth in the mid-’80s, but when we meet back up with him he’s very much a citizen of the Universe.
"Drax (Dave Bautista) has one goal and one goal only, which is to kill Ronan because of a past tragedy.
"When we meet Gamora (Zoe Saldana), she’s a bad guy working with Ronan and Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou), and by extension for Thanos. Gamora doesn’t necessarily like doing that anymore, and tries to find a new path for herself. But she has such a reputation as the deadliest woman in the galaxy that people aren’t greeting her with open arms."
As usual, it seems Feige has a very clear picture of what his studio is trying to accomplish with this film. But, will director James Gunn and company pull it off? Find out when Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on August 1, 2014.