With the new year just hours away, one of the biggest movies coming in 2014 is, without a doubt, the Marvel Phase Two sci-fi advneture Guardians of the Galaxy. Walt Disney Studios has just released the first official photo and synopsis, featuring Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper). Check out the photo and plot rundown, then read on for more details from Chris Pratt and director James Gunn, who both spoke with Empire Magazine.

<strong><em>Guardians of the Galaxy</em></strong> Photo
"From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team - the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power fo the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand - with the galaxy's fate in the balance. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases August 1, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures."

When asked how this comic book adaptation fits into the Marvel cinematic universe in a recent interview with Empire, Chris Pratt compared the film to Star Wars and Galaxy Quest.

"Maybe it's a risk, I dunno. I think every movie Marvel's made has been a risk and they're risks that pay off really big. So I hope for the movie's sake, and my sake, that this one pays off. The story's really good and Marvel really knows what they're doing. It's not as broad as Galaxy Quest but it's not a straightforward space fantasy like Star Wars. I think it's the sort of the best of both of those films put together...and more!"
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This report, which isn't online yet, also reveals that this team of superheroes comes together after Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is thrown in jail, before they all escape to search for a treasure they all want for much different reasons. Here's what writer-director James Gunn had to say about this group of unlikely heroes.

"Our characters are basically all villains to begin with. They don't believe they're individually good and they don't believe each other is good, and through the course of the movie they discover they're heroes. If The Avengers are The Beatles, these guys are The Rolling Stones."