Last year Fandango was lucky enough to visit the set of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, in theaters August 1. Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, the comedic space adventure follows a ragtag group of otherwordly warriors who join forces in an effort to defeat a seemingly unstoppable villain.
But who are the Guardians of the Galaxy, and why should you be excited about the next superhero movie from the folks over at Marvel Studios? We’ll have plenty of cool stuff to show you from the set prior to release, but first up are these fun facts straight from Chris Pratt, who plays the Guardians’ fearless leader, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord.
For more Guardians of the Galaxy action, make sure you hit up the movie's Facebook page on Monday at 10:00 a.m. PST for a cast chat, immediately followed by the reveal of a new trailer for the film.
Peter Quill is like Han Solo meets Marty McFly
While many have compared Pratt’s character to iconic movie heroes like Han Solo and Marty McFly, he likes to think he’s just being Chris Pratt.
“I think if an actor can stick to trying to resemble something from their own spirit, it’ll automatically be unique and it’s not necessarily trying to be Han Solo or trying to be Marty McFly, or trying to be any other character that you’ve seen before,” he told us. “It’s like this is just going to be me in this role.”
His character is a human, not an alien
Almost all of the Guardians—including a gun-toting raccoon named Rocket and a giant plant monster they call Groot—are alien, except Peter Quill. As Pratt tells us, the movie shows us how and why he left Earth.
“When he leaves earth, he’s a kid. He’s like nine or 10. And you get to see the origin of who he is and why he is the way he is when you meet him as an adult later in space,” Pratt notes. “The character has a very human arc; it’s really based on who he was and what was taken from him as a kid. Something that he missed and lacks that he has to gain throughout the course of the movie.“
Chris Pratt lost a ton of weight for the role
In order to play a buffed-up Marvel hero, Pratt had to go through a wicked body transformation, including weight loss and months of exercise. He admits all of it kinda freaked him out.
“Between the costume, the hair, the makeup, the props, the sets, and then working out and getting into good shape, I’d get out of makeup and look at myself in the mirror and not even see myself staring back,” he jokes. “I’d see Peter Quill or Star-Lord, and be like, ‘This is freaking cool, man!’
Guardians of the Galaxy is totally better than Star Wars.
Pratt admits that since Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t come with a lot of preconceived expectations, it’s a lot easier to surprise the audience with something awesome.
“You look at those Star Wars prequels that came out—there’s a lot of expectation there,” he says. “You spend the whole movie trying to satisfy what people think they know about a character. The first Star Wars didn’t have that problem because it was all brand new. You just take it for what it is. So basically what I’m saying is we’ll be better than Star Wars!”
Wait until you meet Rocket Raccoon…
With the exception of Star-Lord, Pratt does hold a special place in his heart for one of the other Guardians.
“I think Rocket [Raccoon] is a great character, he says. “Not just in a way that you would think. There’s a lot of heart there. James [Gunn] did a great job at looking at Rocket as a real character rather than a cartoon character. Anything that was created out of nothing; there’s this sense of loneliness and inner pain that Rocket feels. Hopefully the audience will empathize with him; it makes him a really sympathetic character, but also so badass because he’s a raccoon with a machine gun. “
You don’t have to read the comics to understand the movie
Fear not, comic newbies: Chris Pratt didn’t even read the Guardians of the Galaxy comics before filming, at the request of director James Gunn.
“We’re not re-creating the comic books,” he tells us. “We’re not necessarily making a movie based on those comic books; we’re just telling more Guardians of the Galaxy stories using a different medium. The name, the title and characters are from a different incarnation of Guardians of the Galaxy, but this [movie] is its own thing.
We'll have much more from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy in the coming weeks leading up to its August 1 release in theaters.