Last night, as I got home from a screening, I was about to climb out of my car when I saw something or someone moving stealthily in the area beside my garage. I turned the headlights back on and revealed two large raccoons who were standing on their back legs picking through our recycling bin. They didn’t look startled by my lights, but more annoyed than anything as they turned and walk off through my backyard. I started laughing because, after this week’s reaction to (and omnipresence of) the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” trailer, it felt more like viral marketing than anything.
Part of what I find fascinating about the way they’ve brought the character to life for the film is that he looks like a photo-real creature. He’s the right size, and aside from the fact that he talks and he lives in outer space and he can operate heavy firearms, he looks pretty much exactly like those two I saw last night. We’ve gotten to a point where the visual effects work is almost spooky it’s so realistic.
The one thing we didn’t get any sense of at all from the trailer this week is the way Rocket sounds, which has been the subject of intense curiosity since they began the casting process, and Marvel must have heard all the questions people still had, because they just released a fistful of short production featurettes, and one of them has our first moment of Rocket speaking, along with a brief bit of Bradley Cooper talking about the character.
There’s also a new featurette in which Vin Diesel finally gets to officially discuss Groot, his character in the film.
Dave Bautista is visually terrifying, but he came across on-set as the sweetest guy in the world, and he was heavily invested in making Drax The Destroyer something special. He seems to view this as a huge opportunity, and he has thrown himself into the process wholeheartedly.
These are so short, but there’s just enough time to see some new footage of Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in hand-to-hand combat.
Finally, there’s one more quick look at Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, as played by Chris Pratt, and I like that he points out this character is in no way a superhero. As soon as my kids figured out he’s flipping the bird behind that blurred video image, they decided Star-Lord is the greatest Marvel hero of all time, and his only super power appears to be a scathing wit.
Now that Marvel has done a great job of teasing the project, I hope they go radio-silent again for a while. I’ve enjoyed every single glimpse we’ve gotten of the film so far, but I don’t want them to overdo it. It’s still a pretty significant chunk of the year until we get to see the finished film.
And did I mention there’s a poster now, too?
In the meantime, I’m starting to see a movement on social media of people who are urging others to boycott this film because Bill Mantlo, the writer who created Rocket Raccoon for Marvel in the first place, is basically bankrupt thanks to huge ongoing medical bills thanks to a traumatic brain injury as well as the lack of royalties paid by the comic publisher. While I think it’s a bloody shame that the business wasn’t built to reward the people who helped bring these characters to life, I have trouble believing that if Mantlo was able to speak to the public, he would not want them to see Rocket in a big giant crazy space adventure. Mantlo was one of my favorite Marvel writers in the ’80s, and I’ve donate money to his care in the past. I would urge you to do the same, but I think it would be wrong-headed to boycott the film on his behalf. Instead, I plan to donate more money to him and then match what I would spend on theater tickets for me and my family as well, and then celebrate his totally amazing imagination by seeing the film when it comes out.
“Guardians Of The Galaxy” lands in theaters August 1, 2014.