It has been a while since we’ve seen something really new from Marvel so far as in their cinematic universe. I don’t mean new as in time, but more of something “fresh”. In fact, the only time we’ve seen something fresh from Marvel has been the beginnings of their characters entering the cinematic world.
As with the start of the Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor franchises, Marvel is looking to change things up a bit when it comes to debuting a new franchise that is far more different from what they have ever done before. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the result of that mindset and after having seen the film already, I can attest to the fact that “fresh” means a bold new beginning to an already expanding universe.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to take part in a press conference with the cast and crew of the film at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. If there was one thing that weaved the entirety of the responses by the actors and director, it was really the word “fresh” and for good reasons!
Chris Pratt got one of the first questions when he commented on his fresh “extreme makeover” to get into shape for his leading role as Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord). “I know what it’s like to have body image issues, but I also know if you work hard and enlist coaches and be willing, you can actually change that.” He also never knew that he’d be Star-Lord or any Marvel character, but noted that he “never [saw] himself in the role before, but nothing like this has ever been done before.” And he’s right!
What you’ll notice about this Marvel film is that since it’s the start of a new franchise, a lot of fresh, edgier, darker, and emotional moments will also come with it. Director James Gunn told us that one of the big aspects of the film aims to destroy the mentality of not caring. “This movie is about actually wanting to care,” he said. “It’s a naturally emotional story that is told in an unexpected way.”
That unexpected came in part to the Guardians themselves, namely the actors who play them. This is their first Marvel film, but that wasn’t the reason behind accepting the roles. Former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer, said “I know Marvel’s winning formula for [movie] success, but I didn’t look to that. But I really looked at something new and completely on its own. Fresh.” Benicio Del Toro who plays The Collector in the film commented that he knew that this movie would be a success. “I’ve been in a lot of them (movies) and you never know which one will be good,” he said. “I’m very happy to have been in a good movie like this one.”
Actor Vin Diesel really began to open up at this point toward the end of the press conference when he shared why he wanted to do this movie. He acknowledged that he voices his role of the character Groot around the time he was beginning “to speak to humans again” after his colleague Paul Walker’s unfortunate death. “There was something very therapeutic dealing with death and playing a character that celebrates life.”
That fresh take on life also had Diesel also opened our eyes to the other lives, namely he and his co-star’s director, were equally important in creating this new space epic. He commented on how James Gunn took great care for not only the movie, but for the actors themselves. “Unfortunately in Hollywood, we have directors that have a contempt for his actors. Having a director show a love for his actors will really show itself in many forms in the movie,” Diesel said. “That’s refreshing.”
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We’ll have more stories on the film leading up to the film’s release next Friday, August 1.
Are you excited to see something new and “fresh” from Marvel? What are some of the worries you have with the start of a new franchise like “Guardians of the Galaxy”? What are some of your expectations for something new that comes from the Disney-owned comic book-movie powerhouse? Comment below!