Guardians of the Galaxy Concept 3

While the first three releases from Marvel’s Phase Two will be sequels to films from Phase One, the studio also has plans to introduce a whole bunch of new faces to the Cinematic Universe with films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. The cast for the former has been shaping up nicely as of late, with Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoë Saldana clinching the leads. It’ll be a while yet before we get to see what those guys actually look like in character, but a new piece of concept art offers a peek at a young Peter Quill.

Meanwhile, casting on Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man is expected to get underway later this year, along with some rewrites. And if you’re having trouble imagining how such a tiny hero might look on the big screen, fear not. According to Feige, a polished version of the test reel shown at Comic-Con will be released sooner or later. Hit the jump to see the Guardians pic and get a status update on Ant-Man.

As previously reported, Guardians will take place mainly in outer space. And to go with that exotic setting, it’ll feature a really oddball cast of characters including a talking racoon, a fighting tree, a green-skinned warrior, and an alien assassin. But the newest bit of concept art reveals a scene set on Earth, in which the half-human Quill first encounters a spaceship.

Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s tough to tell much about the ship from here. We know only it isn’t “Ship,” a creation from the comic books that EW describes as “a sentient spacecraft with a feminine persona who has a kind of crush on Star-Lord.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean Ship will be totally absent. Marvel and director James Gunn obviously aren’t afraid of going in weird directions with this film.

“We can take it to all those crazy places as long as all the characters respond in an emotionally truthful way,” Feige told the magazine. “That’s why I believe people are going to respond to Chris Pratt and to an alien Zoë Saldana—because they did respond to that one time before [with Avatar]. And to a tree and a raccoon who, it is certainly our intention, will steal the whole movie.” Rocket Raccoon has yet to be cast, but “we’re open to being surprised,” Feige said.

Also up for grabs right now is the title role of Ant-Man, despite years of rumor and speculation. “We’ve talked about various names over the past eight years but as you can imagine they keep changing as time goes by,” Feige explained. “But towards the end of this year, we’ll buckle down and start casting and start refining the script.”

“Refining” in this case will mean adding some ties to the rest of the Cinematic Universe, which flourished while Ant-Man lingered in development for years. “Frankly, now we have to re-write it to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed,” Feige said. “[Wright] has done a great job being incredibly true to the comics but is putting his own spin on it, so we’ll be drawing on multiple mythologies for this one.”

The long-simmering project made a splash at this year’s Comic-Con when a test reel played during the Marvel panel. It’s since leaked online, but Feige said the studio plans to release a more cleaned up version at some point because it’s proven such a great way to introduce the character.

“Sometimes we take it for granted that people know what we’re doing. Some people don’t get it: ‘Ant-Man …? Is that goofy? What? He talks to ants? What is this…?’” Feige acknowledged. “But after they see the clip, “Then they suddenly go, ‘Ohhh…’”

Guardians of the Galaxy is scheduled for August 1, 2014. Ant-Man follows the following year on November 5, 2015.

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