The Internets are filled with all sorts of reasons why Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Guardians Of The Galaxy” could potentially be in trouble, but most of the justifications that I have come upon don’t hold water. That’s why I listed below five assorted reasons why “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” supposedly, won’t do well, and the reason why the reason is a bunch of hooey.
- No One Knows Who The Heck The “Guardians Of The Galaxy” Are
It’s true. If you were to ask ten random people who the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” are, you’ll probably be met by looks of confusion. That’s perfectly OK, because there was another Marvel character that most people had never heard of, called Iron Man, who despite the lack of name recognition, earned over $585 million worldwide. Part of the success of that film had more than a little to do with Robert Downey, Jr. and his reputation, which wasn’t very good (the arrogance, the cocky attitude Tony Stark displayed is almost Downey Jr. playing himself) at the time.
Like “Iron Man,” a strength of the upcoming ‘Guardians’ is in the casting. Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Benicio del Toro, Michael Rooker, all actors at the height of their powers, together in one film. It seems to play to virtually every demographic: women, young men, and children, which is always a very good thing.
It’s also worth mentioning that Chris Pratt plays a character that appears to be a take on Indiana Jones, which might help to draw older viewers that remember the character from “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” and hopefully weren’t too put out about Indy’s last outing “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.”
And here’s a little information for those people who have no idea who the team are.
The characters you see in the trailer are the second the second incarnation of the team. The original series came into being in 1969, and if you thought that Peter Quill/Star Lord, Gamorra, Drax, Rocket and Groot are strange, imagine how people would react to Martinex (a crystalline being from Pluto), Charlie-27 (a human who’s bred to live on Jupiter. Because of the difference in gravity between that planet and Earth, he’s stronger and denser than other humans), Major Vance Astro (a time traveler of sorts), and Yondu (a blue-skinned archer who hasn’t yet appeared in a trailer for ‘Guardians,’ despite being in the movie).
In fact, Star Lord was more of an independent contractor when he first appeared in “Marvel Preview” in 1976. At the time he had a sentient starship, and looked nothing like the version of the character that came to join ‘Guardians.’
- There’s A Talking, Weapon-Wielding Raccoon
Some may think that the idea of a talking raccoon is a bit…odd, even for a Marvel film. The thing is that, as far as I can tell, the character is going to be played straight, as if Rocket were just another member of the cast. The thing is, the character is indeed part of “Guardians Of The Galaxy” and not created for the film, so considering how controversial the character is, Marvel could have easily have neglected to include him, especially since most people had never heard of the team.
As it stands, they have a way to not only get the fan boys and girls familiar with the character, but also young children, who are probably going to be very curious about him.
That Rocket also fires very big guns, which implies that things will be blown up, will only add to the attractiveness of the character.
Marvel’s faithfulness to the comic is a very bold move, which will probably pay serious dividends at the box office, drawing fans of the comic, younger viewers, and people curious as to what all the fuss is about).
- Movies Based On More Establish Characters, Like “Man Of Steel,” While Profitable, Weren’t Nearly As Successful As They Should Have Been
Warner Bros. “Man Of Steel” was a box office success, though not a huge one. On a $250 million dollar budget it earned over $650 million worldwide. That’s a nice bit of change, but considering that the sequel to the first Thor film, “Thor: The Dark World” was based on a character that never achieved the popularity of Superman, cost less to make ($170 million) and earned almost as much ($641 million) which makes it even more profitable.
In other words, just because the ‘Guardians’ aren’t more established, compared to other characters, doesn’t mean that the audience will not respond to them and that they will not be the next “Iron Man,” “Thor,” or even “The Avengers.”
Of course, the possibility exists that the film will not do well, but if the fan reaction to the trailer has any meaning, Marvel has a hit on its hands.
- James Gunn Has Never Directed Anything As Large As “Guardians Of The Galaxy”
James Gunn isn’t a director that anyone would call prolific. Primarily known as a writer of movies like “Scooby-Doo,” and the reboot of “Dawn Of The Dead” his biggest directoral credits were for “Slither” and “Super,” both films box office failures. Under most conditions, a director that did two relatively low budget films that were unsuccessful at the box office wouldn’t get a third chance.
Then again, Marvel is known for choosing directors for its properties who might not be conventional choices, like Kenneth Branagh to direct “Thor,” and Jon Favreau, who directed “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.”
There is the added bonus that with Gunn you’re not only getting a director, but a writer; a skill-set that he put to use on ‘Guardians.’
- Superhero Fatigue
The idea behind ‘superhero fatigue’ is that people will be so tired of seeing superhero films that they will eventually lose interest. This is similar, in theory, to what happened to Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim.” By which I mean people, based upon advertising, possibly believed it to be a big, dumb robot movie–which it wasn’t. So, as a result the box office was a bit weaker than expected, with the film earning just over $400 million worldwide.
Keeping that in mind, people go to movies to be entertained. Give them a satisfying experience, with well-written characters, and an engaging storyline and it matters relatively little how you get to that point. By which I mean people don’t necessarily care about how they’re entertained–be it giant robots or in the case of “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” talking raccoons–as long as they’re entertained in a fashion that doesn’t talk down to them or insult their intelligence.
And if the trailers so far released are any indicator, Marvel Studios has a another hit on their hands because the movie appears to not only embrace what it’s like to be different, but also shows how one can reach beyond our differences, and come out the other side better than we began.
And in a way, isn’t that what we’d like all of our stories to be like?