Feb. 18, 2015 | 3:30 a.m.
Early in the making of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” visual effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti invited a raccoon named Oreo to spend a few hours in his London office. He was looking for inspiration for one of the movie’s central characters, the mouthy wiseguy Rocket Raccoon, and the natural world seemed like a productive starting place. “They touch everything. They’re very tactile animals,” Ceretti recalled in a phone interview last week. “We spent a lot of time filming the way he moved so the animators could reference that. Even though it’s a raccoon that can walk and talk, we just want to make him look as present in the image as possible so people don’t question it.” Ceretti’s intensive study sessions paid off. “Guardians” is one of five films vying for the Oscar for outstanding visual effects at Sunday’s 87th […]
Nov. 13, 2014 | 7:59 a.m.
Of all the characters in Marvel’s groovy space romp “Guardians of the Galaxy,” an unexpected fan favorite might be Groot, a tree-like creature who somehow manages to be both adorable and deadly. With a five-word vocabulary and lethal fighting skills, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) protects his partner Rocket (Bradley Cooper’s snarky gun-toting raccoon) and the rest of the Milano’s oddball crew while his own motivations remain mysterious. Hero Complex readers get a closer look at Groot’s character design in an exclusive clip from the bonus features on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” home video release, out Dec. 9. “Once we got the function right, then we started to refine the look of Groot and give him that ability to be both very innocent and very fearsome,” director James Gunn says in the clip. “And Vin came in … and his […]
Aug. 05, 2014 | 4:38 p.m.
Want to know what it would be like to take a ride in Peter Quill’s spaceship, the Milano? Well now you can, courtesy of a new clip that sees “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt offer a guided tour of the vessel, which of course is piloted by his Marvel alter ego, the troublemaker better known to some corners of the universe as Star-Lord. With its wild menagerie of creatures and interstellar locales, “Guardians” dazzled moviegoers in its opening weekend, raking in more than $94 million at the box office to become the latest in a string of outsized hits for Marvel Studios. Directed by James Gunn and rooted in a 2008 comic book series written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the $170-million film is the first installment in a new franchise; “Guardians 2″ is set to arrive […]
Aug. 01, 2014 | 11:45 a.m.
Rarely is there an upside for an actor to have his character killed off one of the most popular series on television. But when Michael Rooker received the news that his role as Merle Dixon on AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” was coming to an end, he took some comfort in knowing that another opportunity was waiting in the wings. The popular character actor has a pivotal role in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s epic space adventure that arrives in theaters Friday, playing Yondu, a bandit who is something of a mentor to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. “Yondu is a responder, he’s a doer,” Rooker said recently. “He’s the leader of a group of interstellar piracy-type guys and a very paternal figure for Peter Quill. He’s his kid pretty much and he taught him how to […]
July 30, 2014 | 3:53 p.m.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” takes audiences on a cosmic carpet ride into the farthest reaches of the Marvel universe, with its story of an unlikely team of interstellar heroes who band together to stop a supervillain from achieving his genocidal aims. But for Zoe Saldana, who plays the resourceful assassin Gamora — known in comic book lore as the most dangerous woman in the galaxy — the role was one rooted in earthbound inspiration. The former dancer developed the character’s physicality after watching footage of a bullfighter and deciding that she should move gracefully, with elegant precision. Grappling with the trauma of Gamora’s past, however, led Saldana in another direction. The green-skinned alien is the last surviving member of her race, an orphan who was trained to be lethal by her adopted father Thanos (Josh Brolin), and her plight reminded […]
July 29, 2014 | 4:55 p.m.
When Dave Bautista took the stage at Marvel’s Comic-Con International panel in San Diego last year, he was overcome by emotion sitting beside his “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast mates. The film had only begun shooting, but when the former champion WWE wrestler talked about winning the role of Drax the Destroyer in the interstellar adventure, he appeared overwhelmed. “There’s a point where I go to set every day and I still can’t freaking believe I got this job,” he said at the time. “It’s something that I wanted more than anything I ever wanted in my life. When I got it, I broke down and cried like a little baby.” One year later, Bautista, 45, seems just as moved when he thinks back to being cast in “Guardians,” which blasts into theaters Friday as the first installment in Marvel’s […]
July 25, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.
About midway through Marvel’s new interstellar adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” plays over a shot of a ramshackle spaceship traveling toward a mining colony called Knowhere. The planet is actually the severed head of a fallen titan (or deity) where workers of alien races, some with candy-colored skin, collect valuable bone and fluid to ship to the outer reaches of the cosmos. The sequence could have been cribbed from the imagination of surrealist trickster Alejandro Jodorowsky, perhaps as part of his unrealized cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel “Dune.” Yet it’s far from the only over-the-top landscape in the film, which arrives in theaters Friday as Marvel’s riskiest venture. Based on a fairly obscure comics series, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the first major studio film to be directed by James Gunn, a subversive stalwart […]
July 18, 2014 | 5:57 p.m.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is continuing to expand. The blockbuster comic book movie studio announced on its website late Friday release dates for five upcoming films, though the specific titles were not identified. According to Marvel.com, new movies will open on July 28 and November 3, 2017; July 6 and November 2, 2018; and May 3, 2019. Up next for Marvel, of course, will be “Guardians of the Galaxy,” James Gunn’s wild cosmic adventure. Due to arrive in theaters Aug. 1, “Guardians” follows Pratt’s roguish antihero, who’s on the run from a villain known as Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) after coming into possession of a mysterious orb. Before long, Quill is allied with a rogues’ gallery that includes Bradley’s gun-toting critter, Saldana’s green alien assassin, Bautista’s vengeful bruiser, and Diesel’s tree-like humanoid. In addition to the five guardians who […]
July 16, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” has released two new character posters, featuring John C. Reilly as Nova Corpsman Rhomann Dey and Glenn Close as intergalactic police chief Nova Prime. Hero Complex readers can check out the new images at right and below. Marvel previously unveiled similar posters of the five Guardians — Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and the duo of Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). View the earlier character posters by clicking the links below. Star-Lord | Gamora | Rocket and Groot | Drax Due to arrive in theaters Aug. 1, “Guardians” follows Pratt’s roguish antihero, who’s on the run from a villain known as Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) after coming into possession of a mysterious orb. Before long, Quill is allied with a rogues’ […]
June 26, 2014 | 3:38 p.m.
So why does Peter Quill want to save the galaxy so much anyway? “Because I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!” he declares to Rocket Raccoon’s surly grilling in the most recent look at Marvel’s upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The latest of several trailers that Marvel has released in the run-up to the film’s Aug. 1 release, the sneak-peek ran during this week’s World Cup action. Check it out below. Besides Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) clearing up his motivations for his quest in typical wise-cracking fashion, the spot is also soundtracked by the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb,” adding to the impressive roster of songs that the “Guardians” trailers have employed, including Blue Swede’s version of “Hooked on a Feeling” and Norman Greenbaum’s sublime “Spirit in the Sky.” “Guardians” follows Quill, played by Chris Pratt, who’s on the run from […]