‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ shows its Missouri roots and Marvel connections

08/06/2014 10:12 AM

08/06/2014 10:12 AM

Guardians of Missouri

Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed a nod to the Show-Me State in the opening scene of “Guardians of the Galaxy”: a little Missouri flag on a nurse’s desk. Yup, just like in the comics, young Peter Quill was practically our neighbor before he grew up to become Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

No surprise Missouri gets a movie cameo: Director James Gunn grew up in the St. Louis suburb of Manchester, on “a West County cul-de-sac, where he befriended raccoons” and devoured comic books, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gunn graduated from St. Louis University High School in 1984.

On a return visit there in 2010, he said his Jesuit education has infused all his work with his secret themes of the search for God and meaning of family. “That’s a conversation that I started in St. Louis years ago,” he said.

Everybody must get stones

Gunn tells Hitfix he was thrilled to link his movie to the Marvel cinematic universe with the lore of six “Infinity Stones” (they’re called Infinity Gems in the comics). In “Guardians of the Galaxy” everyone is out to get the silver orb containing one of those powerful jewels. As comic book geeks already know, it’s related to the Tesseract from “The Avengers” and the Aether and the stone in Loki’s scepter from “Thor: The Dark World.” That leaves two more to be found in upcoming movies. Marvel rocks.

What’s next

Gunn is already busy prepping the “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel for July 2017 (sigh, three whole years away). In the meantime, Chris Pratt lends his skyrocketing star power to “Jurassic World,” which just finished filming, according to Comingsoon.net. Colin Trevorrow’s dinosaur thriller, set 22 years after the Steven Spielberg original, arrives June 12.

Movie shorts

After “The Fault in Our Stars,” another John Green teen novel gets the Hollywood treatment. “Paper Towns,” starring “Fault’s” Nat Wolff, arrives next July.

“Frozen” co-director Jennifer Lee will write a big-screen adaptation of one of her favorite kid books, Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” says Variety.

Sandra Bullock is Hollywood’s highest-paid actress, according to Forbes. Thanks to “Gravity,” she earned $51 million between June 2013 and June 2014.

| Sharon Hoffmann, shoffmann@kcstar.com

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