Animated ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Team on Movie Tie-Ins and ’80s References
September 04, 2015 6:00am PT by Aaron Couch
The Disney XD series picks up after the events of the hit film: “The stories are so unbelievably intricate,” star Will Friedle says.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are assembling again.
One afternoon in April, The Hollywood Reporter was on hand to look on as the actors voicing the scrappy gang of reluctant heroes came together to record an episode from the backend of the season.
They were all there — bickering and cracking wise like their big screen counterparts, but with their own spin on Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Will Friedle), Groot (Kevin Michael Richardson), Rocket Raccoon (Trevor Devall), Gamora (Vanessa Marshall) and Drax (David Sobolov).
The gang shared secrets of the upcoming season, which premieres Sept. 26 at 9:30 p.m. on Disney XD. An early, sneak peak bows Saturday at 9 p.m.
Starlord is looking for his origins.
The final moments of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy revealed that Starlord’s father was a member of a mysterious, ancient race. That question of where Starlord came from will be explored in the animated series.
“Peter is interested in where he’s from and what happened. He will continue to pursue that,” says Eric Radomski, Marvel senior vp and creative director of animation.
The show picks up shortly after the movie.
While it’s not a direct continuation, the animated series begins with the team already assembled. The writers were allowed to read the script for the film, but did not see footage until after they’d completed their work.
“They certainly aren’t beholden to what we do,” Radomski says of how the TV show fits in with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “It’s going to go wherever James Gunn decides it’s going to go. Our stories pull from what we’ve learned from the movies and a lot of originality on the part of the writers in terms of creating new adventures with the characters.”
It will cut down on the sex jokes.
Peter Quill was quite the ladies man in the film. But like most mass-appeal animated properties of the past 15 years, this is kid-friendly but with some references kids might not get.
“There is a lot of comedy and a lot of references to the ’80s since Peter Quill is our man out of time. So we have a lot of fun with that,” says Steven Melching, consulting producer and writer.
Adds Radomski: “We make reference to past girlfriends and relationships but we are never going to be as adult in the movie with some of the innuendo,” says Radomski. “We are geared toward 7- to 11-year-olds. Yet we know we have the whole Marvel fanbase, which spreads way into the feature film level audience.”
The plot is “unbelievably intricate.”
While the team says people will be able to pick up the show midseason, the stories told will call back to each other in a way that’s akin to how the comic books do.
“The stories are so unbelievably intricate. It involves so many different characters,” says Friedle. “I love shows that are like a serial. I’m a fantasy book junky so I’m one of those guys where I like it when it’s book one of ten, and they are all 1,000 pages long. With Guardians, can pick up in the middle, but you’re going to want to go back to the start.”