EVERY NOW AND THEN, a movie comes out of Hollywood with more balls than even Tony Montana can stomach. You got Scarface (both versions), A Clockwork Orange, Taxi Driver, Natural Born Killers, and… hell, even Who Framed Roger Rabbit had some balls when you think about it.
And boobs. Lots of boobs.
However, as legendary as these movies turned out to be, it’s still hard to believe that a live-action Guardians of the Galaxy film is still in the works. Making a film about a homicidal car driver was inevitable, but this?
Is that a starry-eyed Ent in the back?
No matter how awesome or how terrible this movie turns out to be, Guardians of the Galaxy is already the ballsiest film ever made for the following reasons:
1. Rocket Raccoon
We might as well get the obvious out of the way: One of the main characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie set in the same universe as The Avengers, Captain America, and the Iron Man trilogy, is this guy… a raccoon.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Rocket Raccoon, a Marvel superhero who’s been around since 1976. It can safely be said that the entire movie, and maybe even all of Phase 2 in the multi-billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe, will hinge on how well this character is handled onscreen. What are comic book fans expecting? Harry Knowles at Aint It Cool News probably summarized it best: “Every boy and girl in this country is gonna do back flips for Rocket Raccoon – and you will too. He’ll kick the shit out of TED. Tear him to fluff. Blow him up and flambe’ him.”
How the fuck do you direct something like this?
Can you imagine being asked to make an interstellar aardvark as realistic and badass as possible? Or to make a gun-toting possum seem like he could share the same screen as Iron Man or The Hulk? Well, the Hulk, maybe, but our point is that never before have so many films hinged on how well a crazy character is handled. Some have knocked the ball out of the park, like Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis did with Gollum, while others, well…
Disney, ye be warned.
2. James Gunn is directing
The writer/director behind Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and Slither is directing this movie. Or, to be more specific, Disney hired a man whose most recent project was the Movie 43 poop-fest to write and direct the Marvel film that will come out right before The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It’s truly remarkable how fucked up this film was.
To make things very clear, we listed Zack Snyder’s spectacularly lackluster filmmaking record as one of our concerns with Man of Steel, and that article was written before the movie was even in theaters. We understand that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is too large for any one or two filmmakers, but seriously… this guy?
While the t-shirt is a plus, that background is not helping.
In all fairness, the man did write and produce Scooby-Doo, but… Oh, come on! The man wrote and produced Scooby-Doo! All we know is that Disney must know something we don’t, because we would have started a war to get Guillermo Del Toro to direct this. God be with you, James Gunn. You got a raccoon to make awesome.
3. The cast
It’s hard to describe just how mainstream comic book films have become. Thor was directed by Kenneth Branagh, the same dude who starred in and directed four Shakespeare movies. Anthony Hopkins is Odin, Natalie Portman is Thor’s girlfriend, and Robert Redford is appearing in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Never before have so many actors and actresses you wouldn’t expect in a comic book movie signed up for roles in Guardians of the Galaxy. Zoe Saldana we understand after that whole FernGully thing, but Michael Rooker? Djimon Hounsou? Benicio del Toro? John C. Reilly? And, head and shoulders above the rest, Glenn Close?
Seriously, this… um, lady?
Honestly, we’re not complaining. Having so many actors in one Marvel film makes us wonder if Disney plans on casting Leonardo DiCaprio as Adam Warlock down the road. If Guardians of the Galaxy is a success, such a scenario might become a reality. But if not, any chance of Martin Scorsese directing a film in Phase 3 will probably be lost.
Thank Jesus that Bill Paxton is not in this picture.
4. The subject
Guardians of the Galaxy plans to take us deeper into Marvel’s Cosmic realm than any other motion picture ever made. It’s already the craziest Marvel film ever attempted, and its potential is perhaps best summarized by this picture:
Study that for a minute. It looks like a scene straight out of the same Cantina where Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker recruited Han Solo and Chewie. The idea of making an entire movie this batshit could potentially jump the shark with the film’s target audience. Or maybe, just maybe, it succeeds in making the Marvel Cinematic Universe larger and more diverse than anything we could have imagined after Tony Stark nuked that mothership at the end of Avengers.
Pictured: A genocide?
5. The stakes
$5,009,985,799.00. That’s how much money the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grossed so far worldwide.
Not counting porn sales.
The leader of the pack is last year’s The Avengers, which means its 2015 sequel stands a chance of being one of the two or three highest-grossing films of all time. Saddling that film with a shitty lead-in could without hyperbolae cost Disney and Marvel billions of dollars. Even worse, it could affect how subsequent films in the franchise are written. Entire movies could be canceled due to a poor performance by Guardians of the Galaxy.
We sincerely hope this teaser makes us love and not hate Disney forever.
A lot’s at stake, here. Possibly more than any film in the franchise since Iron Man. Fortunately, that’s part of its charm. Making a movie like this adds some serious balls to the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe, so here’s hoping that investing in a certain gun-toting raccoon ends up paying off in the end.
That raccoon’s got some balls.
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