“One of the driving forces from the beginning,” said Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, “was to create a gritty world that was still very colorful. I miss some of the color palettes of the ’50s and ’60s science fiction films when things were much brighter and to intermingle those different looks from the past and create our own look was very important.” One of the Marvel production's largest sets was the Kyln, the space prison where the Guardians first meet and form. According to production designer Charlie Wood, the Kyln was “a 360-degree set and comprised of 350 thousand pounds of steel across three levels, extended in post-production by a further 200 feet.” One of the brighter environments in Guardians of the Galaxy is Xandar, a watery planet and home to the Nova Corps. Inspired by the Santiago Caltrava in Zürich, Switzerland, the actual Xandar set is just a “footing for a gigantic virtual set,”and its backdrop is provided by the “monumental steel, glass and white concrete of the Liege train station in Belgium.”
Another prominent Guardians of the Galaxy setting is Knowhere, which, similar in the comics, serves as a “port of call and observatory for intergalactic travelers of all species and from all times, located inside the decapitated head of a Celestial, on the edge of the universe. Knowhere is evocative of an industrial mining town and is where The Collector has his museum.” Then there is the “vibrant” Boot of Jemiah, possibly glimpsed in the Guardians teaser poster, and the Morag. In the comics, Jemiah was a Celestial tasked with analyzing life-form samples, while Morag was a Kree tribal leader who oversaw the construction of the Blue Area of the Moon. The film’s Morag is an “underwater ocean planet where Quill finds the orb in its sunken temple.”
Regarding the many spacecrafts in Guardians of the Galaxy, production designer Charlie Wood and his team also designed Quill’s spaceship Malino and Ronan the Accuser’s Dark Aster. The Malino was a 14-week construct involving several trades and it was “built as a double level composite set, with an upper flight deck and lower living quarters.” For the atmosphere of the Malino, Wood and his team followed Guardians director James Gunn’s instructions that “Quill’s environment be reminiscent of Earth and have a tangible quality—mechanical with chrome and leather and a muscle-car look.” As for Ronan’s Dark Aster, which was seen briefly in the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, it was designed suggestive of a flying mausoleum. “The design is minimal and brutal, a stark gray colorless world devoid of any set dressing whatsoever, and relying purely on its heavy concrete-like architecture to convey its tone and function.”
In other Guardians of the Galaxy news, the recent prequel comic has confirmed that British actress Ophelia Lovibond’s pink character, who was introduced alongside The Collector, Taneleer Tivan (Benicio del Toro), in Thor: The Dark World mid-credits, is in fact Carina Walters. In the comics, she had a deep mythology as The Collector’s daughter, however, we still don’t know how their relationship will translate on-screen. Anyhow, in addition to the the Orb, which is the
Infinity Gem MacGuffin of Guardians of the Galaxy, the prelude comic also teased Yondu, Ronan, the big bad Thanos, as well as his relationship to “frenemies” Nebula & Gamora. What do you think?
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand - with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is presented by Marvel Studios and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gilian, Djimon Hounsou with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Commander Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film opens August 1, 2014.