Posted on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
We love concept art. Conceptual artists usually present the most stunning version of the ideas presented in a screenplay, and often are much more beautiful than computer generated imagery in the movies themselves. And sometimes concept art gets to reveal a version of the movie that we didn’t get to see on the big screen. For example, Tor tipped us off to some of Stephan Martiniere‘s amazing Guardians of the Galaxy concept art images.
One of the pieces of concept art visualizes a location not seen in the movie, an alien planet that was apparently in credited co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman‘s original screenplay for the film. The planet is very significant to the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book storyline and, potentially, something we could see in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. So if you’ve seen the film and are okay with comic book spoilers which could be adapted in future sequels, hit the jump.
One of Stephan Martiniere‘s Guardians of the Galaxy concept art pieces shows the planet of Spartoi.
In the movie Star Lord’s father is teased in a couple different ways. In the opening of the film, an ill Meredith Quill tells Peter that his father was an angel made entirely of light. After the final battle of the film, the Nova Corps reveal to Peter that they have found something strange when they scanned him. Quill says, “You mean I’m not Terran?” Nova Prime responds that his mom is human, but that his father is something incredibly ancient that hasn’t been seen before. Gamora theorizes that his mysterious biology might be why he was able to hold the Infinity Stone for so long without being destroyed. And a quick scene with Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) reveals that he was originally hired to abduct 11-year-old Quill to deliver the boy to his “jerk” father, which he decided against.
As I noted in my round up of Guardians of the Galaxy easter eggs, Spartoi is the comic book home of Peter Quill’s father Prince Jason. In the comic books, Jason’s ship converter blew out on his way back to Spartoi, forcing him to make a crash landing in the Earth’s Colorado Mountains. A woman named Meredith Quill helped him out of the ship, and helped get him back on his feet and assist in rebuilding his ship.
During his time on earth, Jason of Spartoi fell in love with Meredith and the couple conceived a child. But Prince Jason had to get back to Spartoi, which was at war, and was forced to leave Meredith behind so she wouldn’t get hurt. Here is a look at Spartoi from the comic books:
The Spartoi defeated the Ariguan and Jason asked his uncle Gareth to bring his family back to him. But, instead Gareth put a hit on the Quill family. 11-year-old Peter Quill witnessed men come and kill his mother. Peter swore that he would kill those men and Jason was told that his family had died during birth. Peter ran away from his orphanage and became an astronaut.
Obviously, the the comic book storyline is much different than Star-Lord’s origin story seen in the film. So is this concept art from Guardians of the Galaxy 2? Nope.
Spartoi and Peter Quill’s alien father Prince Jason were both featured in screenwriter Nicole Perlman‘s original draft of Guardians of the Galaxy. Perlman was part of Marvel’s screenwriting program and penned a draft of Guardians that got the project into development. If it wasn’t for her, the movie wouldn’t exist right now.
That said, the finished film had a major rewrite by James Gunn, also credited as co-screenwriter on the film. The production screenplay is supposedly very different than Perlman’s original draft. For example, a big portion of the film was set on Spartoi and Groot was only seen in the prison sequence for many of the drafts. The concept art was probably created before Gunn came on board the project, just like the piece of concept art below which was released at Comic Con years ago:
The Spartoi concept art is interesting because the Spartoi kingdom looks more mythic than sci-fi. I can imagine one of the reasons the location was abandoned is that it looked too much like Thor‘s Asgardian setting, when Marvel clearly wanted a sci-fi looking movie. Also I’m sure involving Quill’s royal father complicated the plot a bit more than necessary.
So Gunn changed the Spartoi location to the utopian futuristic city of Xandar, the home world of the Nova Corps (which probably also streamlines their involvement in the story). The sequence where Peter Quill attempts to sell the orb to a trader in Xandar was a scene originally set on Spartoi.
Another piece of Stephan Martiniere’s Guardians of the Galaxy concept art (above) pieces shows the “first level trading floor” and “second level trading floor”, which I only know because its in the titles of the image files. You can see the mountains of Spartoi in the far background. I’m guessing this is where Quill would have originally gone to sell the orb, and where he was caught by Gamora and met Rocket and Groot.
The only other unused concept art image in Martiniere’s collection is of the Spartoi city mall (again, revealed in the file name). It feels like this design was somewhat adapted into the Xandar we saw in the film.