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 […]
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 […]
May 17, 2014 | 8:09 a.m.
Marvel fans excited for “Guardians of the Galaxy” got a sneak preview Friday with a short teaser featuring new footage from the colorful cosmic adventure. The second full trailer for the Aug. 1 release will debut 10 a.m. PDT Monday during a live Facebook Q&A with cast members Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan, as well as writer-director James Gunn. Check out the teaser below. The Guardians first appeared in “Marvel Super-Heroes” No. 18 in 1969, and in the early 1990s, the team headlined its own comic series that ran for 62 issues. But for the new movie, Gunn took a fresh approach to the characters and the mythology, fashioning a story that, like the other Marvel films, stands on its own but also connects to the studio’s other franchises, including “The Avengers.” Pratt plays the roguish antihero Peter […]
May 02, 2014 | 11:47 a.m.
Free Comic Book Day arrives Saturday, with more than 2,000 participating comic book shops readying their annual blowout of gratis titles and in-store appearances across the country. Marvel’s planning to release a complimentary issue of “Guardians of the Galaxy” that will tease to a game-changing event for Spider-Man, while DC is launching a new series with “The New 52: Futures End” No. 0, which marks Batman Beyond’s debut in the New 52 universe. (The series will continue its weekly run with issue No. 1 set to hit stands Wednesday.) In all, more than 60 titles will be made available at no cost: among them, Dark Horse will release a complimentary issue of “Avatar: The Last Airbender”; Archie Comics will offer “Archie Digest” No. 1, which features a new introduction to the Riverdale gang; and IDW will offer a free issue […]
April 25, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
Chris Pratt might never have discovered his inner cosmic hero if he hadn’t played an earthbound warrior first. The affable actor had been building a reputation for sweet-natured oafs and goofy child-men like his “Parks and Recreation” character, Andy Dwyer, when he was cast as a member of SEAL Team Six in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” the Oscar-nominated dramatization of the U.S. raid that claimed the life of Osama bin Laden. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute, maybe I can be taken seriously as like a guy who’s one of the baddest dudes in the world,’ you know?” He’s now about to play one of the baddest dudes in the universe. Pratt stars as Peter Quill, the sarcastic scofflaw also known as Star-Lord in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” due in theaters Aug. 1. The film arrives as an […]
April 16, 2014 | 9:33 a.m.
Marvel debuted a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” featurette during Tuesday’s episode of ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The behind-the-scenes clip showcased prominent members of the movie’s ensemble cast discussing their roles in the cosmic adventure that’s set to arrive in theaters Aug. 1. “It’s a not a typical superhero movie,” star Zoe Saldana explains at one point. Directed by James Gunn (“Super”) and based on the Marvel comic of the same name, “Guardians of the Galaxy” stars Chris Pratt as the roguish antihero Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. Once the interstellar scofflaw steals a mysterious orb, Quill finds himself on the run from powerful villain Ronan (Lee Pace), whose evil plans threaten the universe. Quill is forced to team up with a squad of alien misfits to battle the galactic threat — a group that includes a gun-toting creature named Rocket […]
April 07, 2014 | 9:14 p.m.
Marvel is riding high on the record-breaking success of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which rocketed to a $96.2-million opening in North America this past weekend and became the biggest April opening in movie history. But the Cap sequel isn’t the only release on Marvel’s 2014 docket. On Aug. 1, the comic book movie powerhouse will introduce audiences to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a cosmic action adventure directed by James Gunn (“Super”) and based on the Marvel comic of the same name. Chris Pratt stars as the roguish antihero Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, who steals a mysterious orb and consequently finds himself on the run from powerful villain Ronan (Lee Pace), whose evil plans threaten the universe. Quill is forced to team up with a ragtag squad of alien misfits to battle the cosmic threat. It’s a quirky concept (one […]
Dec. 31, 2013 | 3:00 p.m.
The “Guardians of the Galaxy” are all lined up in the first official image to be released from Marvel’s 2014 cosmic adventure. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” directed by James Gunn and based on the Marvel comic series of the same name, follows roguish antihero Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and his squad of aliens tasked with teaming up to battle intergalactic threats. Included in the group is the furry, fan-favorite character Rocket Raccoon, to be voiced by Bradley Cooper. Both Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon are featured in the new photo, along with Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer and the sentient tree Groot, a CG character that Marvel has confirmed will be voiced by Vin Diesel, who openly discussed the role with Hero Complex back in August. In the film, Glenn Close (“Fatal Attraction,” “Mars […]
Aug. 30, 2013 | 2:26 p.m.
It’s official — Bradley Cooper will voice Rocket Raccoon in Marvel’s upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Marvel announced Cooper’s casting on its website Friday afternoon; numerous reports previously had tipped the Oscar-nominated actor as likely to land the role. Set for release Aug. 1, 2014, “Guardians of the Galaxy” follows roguish antihero Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his squad of aliens (including the furry, fan-favorite Rocket Raccoon) as they team up to battle cosmic threats. James Gunn (“Super”) is directing. In addition to Cooper, the “Guardians” cast boasts plenty of stars familiar to fans of genre entertainment, as well as some seemingly unlikely newcomers. Zoe Saldana stars as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, Benicio del Toro as the […]