Guardian of VFX: Why Make A Guardians of the Galaxy Movie?

Adam Dewhirst is a 3d artist working in post production VFX in film in London – his credits include The Dark Knight, the Golden Compass, Prince of Persia and World War Z. His latest film is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is released 31st July. In the lead up to the films release we asked Adam to blog about a few topics concerning VFX in film.

WHAT A BUNCH OF A-HOLES!

Guardians of the Galaxy is out now and before I delve into the intricacies of my own contribution to this film, I want to talk a little bit about why this movie has been made, and what it represents.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a risk but it’s a risk with a big pay-off for Marvel if it does well. Why? Because it’s a totally unknown product – something from their back catalogue. This means that if it does well (and if the reviews are anything to go by it will) Marvel will have a blank cheque to use any character from their entire universe with a pretty good indicator that audiences will be interested enough to go see it.  If Guardians of the Galaxy loses then no one is going to miss it, but if its a hit – HELLO MARVEL UNIVERSE!

Marvel already considers Iron Man to be a B-list hero which surprises me.  If Iron man is B grade, where on earth does that put the Guardians? Lets face it they are Z Listers! or as the trailers states “what a bunch of A-holes”. The meaning is clear that these guys really are the bottom of the barrel. This leaked Fax from the Marvel Comics Group shows which characters are important by their star rating

marvelFax

Marvel Fax

It’s a fascinating insight into how Marvel views their characters – all the Fantastic Four get a 3 star rating, but invisible girl only gets 2? why? The X Men all only get a 2 rating, as do most of the lower tier Avengers (i.e. not Hulk, Thor, Captain America or Iron Man) but Conan and Dracula get 3 stars? Bizarre. What’s most telling about this is the 3 star rated heroes that we have yet to see a movie of – most notably:

Namor, Dr Strange, Luke Cage, and Silver Surfer (plus Daredevil really needs another attempt!)

Now we know Dr Strange is probably in the works and it looks like Daredevil and Luke Cage are getting their TV shows, but this summer – we have Guardians of the Galaxy?? Star Lord, Gamora, Drax the destroyer, a talking Raccoon and a tree man! …WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL MARVEL?

I’ll tell you what they’re up to shall I? They are trying to open us up to the entire Marvel universe. It’s a safe bet, most non comic reading movie goers  (lets call them “muggles”) won’t have heard of the guardians. It’s not unfair to say that a fair percentage of comic reading people wont be familiar with them  either. I mean it’s a small, non earth dwelling, team of heroes that changes its roster more often then the X men  but from Marvel’s point of view, it really doesn’t matter who they are, this movie would still be worth making if it was someone else equally obscure – the new warriors perhaps? Or the runaways? They could have gone with Alpha Flight which is best described  as “ Canada’s answer to the Avengers”  and features Sasquash! SASQUATCH??? So why didn’t Marvel make a movie of Alpha Flight instead? Well… truth be told I think even this is too safe! It’s set on earth and in Canada which, whilst a beautiful country full of moose and bears, is probably not the most thrilling and out there location for a superhero movie – guardians on the other hand is set in space – anything goes, anything is possible.

Could Alpha Flight now be possible?

Could Alpha Flight now be possible?

In terms of possibilities you have two massive Hollywood in the form of Bradley Copper and Vin Diesel who lend their voices to totally CG characters. It’s even rumored that Vin Diesel actively used twitter to  spread rumours that he was meeting with Marvel, in order to actually make it happen.

Marvel is the hot ticket right now and actors are campaigning to get in their movies. Seeing Robert Redford in Captain America 2 was something that would have been unheard of ten years ago.

Guardians features not one, but two leading characters that are entirely CG – sharing most of the movie with real actors and the whole thing has to appear seamlessly real – this is a big undertaking, but think of the other characters that could be brought the life if this is a success? – a CG thing (please no more orange rubber suit) – a proper Galactus? The Watcher? Venom? Carnage? Characters that Marvel has played very safe with in the past – now lets bring the real thing to the big screen!

With Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel is saying  “We are gonna make a movie that is pretty accurate to the comic. It’s not something your familiar with, it’s pretty out there but we are gonna make this  and if you like it we can make more movies like this. We’re asking you to take a leap of faith and to trust us!”

Marvel fans are sometimes referred to as “True Believers” and having seen the film I can say that this time your faith is being rewarded! This folks is the holy grail of comic movies, it’s the key to the city waiting to open up a world of possibilities when it comes to the future of comic adaptations. So I’m begging you to GO SEE IT! Aside from anything else I’ve said it rocks!

Guardians of the Galaxy Line-Up

 

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One comment

  1. SilverFox /

    What’s really interesting, and has been much blogged, is that Disney / Marvel appear to be trying to derail 20th Century Fox – a lot of the artwork celebrating 75 years of Marvel really appears to be consciously excluding the F4 and the X-Men, whilst focusing on the new movie portfolio such as the GotG…

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