Fans who can't wait for this summer's release of "Guardians of the Galaxy" can tide themselves over with a new, wide-ranging interview with star Chris Pratt, director James Gunn, and Marvel studio chief Kevin Feige. The Q&A, which was hosted by AMC and also featured fan queries, lasted over 30 minutes, and was jam-packed with revelations and teasers about the sure-to-be-epic flick. Some of the many highlights (thanks to Collider for the transcript):
1. This ain't your typical Marvel movie
The trio all stressed that the "Guardians" story, which focuses on a rag-tag, unlikely group of would-be heroes, didn't resemble any previous big screen comic book incarnation. "All of us at the studio wanted to do something new, wanted to do something original ... Excited about doing something, frankly, that most people had never heard of," Feige said. "I do think that it is a completely original movie," added Gunn, "and I do think that it is a character piece at the core of it ... Finding actors that were specifically suited to doing each of those roles is what we needed to do ... That's what the Guardians are, an eclectic band of characters who come together for a single purpose."
2. Expect some (future) Marvel synergy
Despite the originality of the "Guardians" concept, it will still resemble its Marvel universe counterparts in one key way: crossover potential. While Feige noted that the flick "takes place on the other side of the galaxy" from other Marvel movies, it would still feature "a handful of characters ... who will carry through to other films as threats to Earth." No telling just yet who/what they'll be, but perhaps they'll pop up in next summer's "Avengers: Age of Ultron"?
3. Chris Pratt almost didn't land the part of Peter Quill
"I didn't want to see him audition," Gunn admitted of his star(-lord). "We went through a lot of people, and we saw a lot of really good actors. I was looking for somebody who inhabited the role, but really went beyond it, like Robert Downey Jr. for Iron Man." Gunn added that he repeatedly said no to Pratt auditioning, but eventually relented -- and was immediately proven wrong. "He was maybe reading for 20 seconds, and I went, 'Holy God,'" Gunn said. "He was the one, I just knew it."
4. Getting ripped took Pratt a lot of work
Fangirls swooned when Pratt debuted his super buff superhero physique, and the actor said the transition didn't happen overnight. "It seemed fast, but it wasn't, it was about seven months," Pratt revealed. "It's fast considering how much weight I lost. But I grew up as a wrestler and did a lot of sports growing up. There's a certain mindlessness to it that I like, you don't have to think. And I'm great at that. ... I literally worked my ass off."
5. The light-hearted tone was always the plan
Gunn, who directed horror-comedy "Slither," knows a thing or two about balancing the serious and the silly in his work, which was part of the reason Marvel wanted him for "Guardians." The director said his experience with similar subject matter would apply perfectly to these heroes. "This is about the characters," Gunn said. " ... You have to fall in love with a talking raccoon and believe that he exists ... Take these outlandish concepts, make it fun, but making it as believable as possible." Feige and Gunn also noted that the movie took a lot of inspiration from the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning "Guardians" comics, known for their humorous tone.
6. A post-credits sequence isn't necessarily in the cards -- or is it?
Marvel's become known for its post-credits sequences linking its films together, but Gunn and Feige held their cards close to their chest when asked about whether "Guardians" would follow suit. "We don't look at those post-credits scene as mandatory in any way," Feige said. "If we have something fun, we'll add it. That's part of the fun for sitting through the credits." Feige also noted that there may still be a few additional scenes to shoot, which may or not make it into the final cut. "James has had some cool ideas so we're going to get after that," he said.
7. Audiences will love it, and there's even more cool stuff to come
"It's fun, and it is exciting," Pratt says of "Guardians." "It's truly different than anything you've ever seen. It's gonna knock your socks off." As for what the next, seemingly inevitable installment of "Guardians" holds, Gunn says there's more excitement waiting for audiences -- and it all comes from filmmakers' own love for the source material. "We have so much cool stuff to do," Gunn said. " ... The thing that I think people are going to love about it is, it's a completely honest movie. There's no BS about it ... We're totally sincere about this, we're totally real; we're the fans."
"Guardians of the Galaxy" flies into theaters August 1.