It was already in-the-wind that some version or another of "Guardians of The Galaxy" was going to be the Marvel/Disney 2014 movie that would hit after "Captain America 2" (now officially subtitled "The Winter Soldier") and serve as a lead-in to "Avengers 2." Now it's been confirmed at SDCC, and we have official concept-art revealing the team lineup:
Who the hell are you looking at? Hit the jump...
It looks like they're going with the more recent version, where the Guardians are an all-star (figuratively-speaking) team of cosmic/space-oriented Marvel characters. From left to right, the movie lineup seems to include:
DRAX THE DESTROYER - a Jim Starlin creation whose origin coincided with the first appearance of Thanos, who is the person Drax is supposed to be destroying.
GROOT - He's a talking tree; originating as one of Jack Kirby's many, many Earth-invading space-monsters from Marvel's pre-superhero days, later ressurected as a Hulk foe and more recently as part of Marvel's "cosmic" roster.
STAR-LORD - Human astronaut born under cosmically-influenced circumstances, eventually becomes a spacefaring paramilitary-type who has a Master Chief/Cortana kinda thing going on with his sentient, psychically-linked spaceship "Ship."
ROCKET RACCOON - He's exactly what he looks like. That's right, while certain other studios are wringing their hands about whether things as "weird" as Wonder Woman or "silly" as Robin can work on film, Marvel/Disney is headling a multimillion dollar space-epic with a talking, gun-toting raccoon.
GAMORA - Thanos adopted daughter, later turned "good." Usually wears significantly less clothing than pictured here.
It's going to be interesting to see how this is recieved. It'll be the first Marvel Studios film that's decidedly not a superhero movie (they've been touting it as something more in the vein of Star Wars) and it's easily the most obscure property they'll have adapted to the screen to date. One assumes that, with two Thanos-related guys on the team and Thanos' all-but-given stature as "Avengers 2's" heavy, they'll be counting on the "this sets up Avengers 2" factor to draw in the die-hards; but are mainstream audiences really going to line-up for what will look like "The Adventures of Tree-Person and Cartoon Animal?"
At some point, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to have to learn how to accomodate "niche" movies alongside four-quadrant blockbusters like they've been making so far. Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man," for example, is probably not destined to do "Thor's" numbers, but if produced responsibly with realistic goals it doesn't need to. "Guardians," on the other hand, is going to cost quite a bit to make and will have to do sizable business to be worth it, financially.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the individual members (or traces of them) turning up in the more familiar characters' sequels to try and get people more invested in them as things go on.