With a sequel to The Avengers officially confirmed by Marvel/Disney, comic book fans the world over will be contemplating which of the publisher’s other heroes could be added to the line-up, potentially getting their own solo movie as soon as 2014 – filling the popularly acknowledged gap in the schedule alongside Captain America 2 that summer.
Of course, we have to bear in mind that Marvel Studios do not own the film rights to characters as key to their comic book universe as Daredevil, Spider-Man, Wolverine or the Fantastic Four – all of whom have allied with or become members of the Avengers at one time or another – but with that consideration in place, here is another suggestion for Marvel’s Next Avengers Film:
The Guardians of the Galaxy
Just to clear up confusion there are actually two versions of The Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s a team of people from the various colonized planets of our solar system (Mercury, Jupiter, Pluto and Earth) as well as alpha centauri who came from the future (31st Century to be exact) that was introduced back in the 70′s. Then there’s the modern team that was introduced in 2008 that came together to prevent galactic catastrophes from going down. which has nothing to do with the other guys. We’re talking about the modern team, not the guys from the future.
Why: When Marvel studios launched their first movie back in 2008 they decided to end Iron Man with a pretty big set up by introducing Nick Fury and having him mention the cryptic “Avengers Initiative”. Telling fans that they were gearing up for bringing together Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was an incredibly ambitious move for a comic book company making it’s first couple of movies (that same year also saw the reintroduction of The Incredible Hulk after Marvel bought him back from Universal). Being seemingly uninterested in resting on their laurels, Marvel Studios now have to address the question “How do you get bigger than bringing together a bunch of big name heroes to save the world?” The obvious answer would be “raise the stakes by getting into the cosmic stuff and having the entire galaxy as your stage.”
Marvel has already put its cinema audience on alert about its intention to expand its universe by ending The Avengers with the big reveal that the guy who bank rolled Loki’s power play and is big enough to scare a god is none other than Thanos of Titan. This tells people that the “Norse gods are really aliens” bit in Thor wasn’t brought in merely as a way to make magic work in a sci-fi universe. Instead that was the first sample of the “bigger universe” that Fury mentioned to Stark a few movies back. Now that they’ve established a well rounded world, it’s time to expand out into a bigger arena, and The Guardians are the perfect kind of property to serve that purpose.
Story: One of many routes to go would be to do a similar story to the one used in the Disney XD Cartoon series “Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” which had the Guardians run into Tony Stark and the rest of the team on a mission of their own. It would certainly be a great way to raise the stakes of Avengers 2 by having the team discover how much bigger the stakes and stage of events are than they thought. It would also make a great way to introduce the characters before putting them into their own movie.
Another interesting way to introduce the team would be to have one of the already announced films in Phase 2 of the Marvel Movieverse overlap into their own. We’re looking at you Thor 2 (due in theaters next summer) because you’ve already got the cosmic vibe going on. Rumours are still swirling around the mill about the villain for the next movie (I myself prefer the idea of The Executioner and/or The Enchantress) but how cool would it be if that villain escaped from Thor only to threaten the entire galaxy and wasn’t dealt with until another movie came along? The answer is that it would be 2/5 as cool as eating curly fries at your favorite local burger joint as you turn around to see Penn and Teller hanging out and offering free tickets to a magic show later that night.
Another character that would be useful for introducing these guys would be Dr. Strange who has been mentioned as one of the many characters in development for the silver screen. Stephen Strange taps into the weirder and wider elements of the Marvel Universe and a movie about him would offer a good opportunity to show just how deep the rabbit hole goes unusual heroes.
Possibly the boldest move to make, would be to give audiences a Guardians of the Galaxy movie without introducing them in another one first. A crazy, surreal sci-fi space opera with a dirty dozen like team of do gooders that stands on its own two legs before tipping the hand that it’s part of the same continuity as Iron Man and Hulk would throw moviegoers off their guard. The entire marketing campaign could be similar to your typical Star Trek/Star Wars type of movie only to blind side audience in theaters by revealing a bigger connection to guys like Captain America… speaking of Cap, wasn’t there a villain from his movie that disappeared while holding onto some kind of cosmic cube-like device.
Seriously, if the Red Skull shows up as a villain in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie we here at What Culture will never stop bragging about this article.
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