Guardians of the Galaxyis a 2014 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name , produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures . It is the tenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe . The film was directed by James Gunn , who wrote the screenplay with Nicole Perlman, and features an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt , Zoe Saldana , Dave Bautista , Vin Diesel , Bradley Cooper , Lee Pace , Michael Rooker , Karen Gillan , Djimon Hounsou , John C. Reilly , Glenn Close , and Benicio del Toro . InGuardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill forms an uneasy alliance with a group of extraterrestrial misfits who are on the run after stealing a coveted orb.
Screenwriter Nicole Perlman began working on the screenplay in 2009. Producer Kevin Feige first publicly mentionedGuardians of the Galaxyas a potential film in 2010, and Marvel Studios announced that the film was in active development at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2012. Gunn was hired to write and direct the film that September. In February 2013, Pratt was hired to play Peter Quill / Star-Lord, and the supporting cast was filled out over the next several months. Filming began in July 2013 at Shepperton Studios , England, with filming continuing in London before wrapping in October 2013. Post-production finished on July 7, 2014.
Guardians of the Galaxypremiered in Hollywood on July 21, 2014. It was released in theaters August 1, 2014 in the United States in 3D and IMAX 3D . The film became a critical and financial success, having grossed over $768 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing superhero film of 2014. Much of the praise went to the film's light-hearted humor and nostalgic soundtrack, Gunn's direction, and the performances of the cast. A sequel has been announced and is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2017.
In 1988, following his mother's death, a young Peter Quill is abducted from Earth by the Ravagers, a group of space pirates led by Yondu Udonta . Twenty-six years later on the planet Morag, Quill steals an orb, after which he is intercepted by Korath , a subordinate to the fanatical Kree , Ronan . Although Quill escapes with the orb, Yondu discovers his theft and issues a bounty for his capture, while Ronan sends the assassin Gamora after the orb.
When Quill attempts to sell the orb on the Nova Empire capital world, Xandar , Gamora ambushes him and steals it. A fight ensues, drawing in a pair of bounty hunters: the genetically engineered raccoon Rocket , and the tree-like humanoid Groot . The Nova Corps arrives and arrests all four, imprisoning them in the Kyln . While there, a powerful inmate, Drax , attempts to kill Gamora due to her association with Ronan, who killed his family. Quill dissuades him by saying that Gamora can bring Ronan to him, at which point Gamora reveals that she has betrayed Ronan, unwilling to let him use the orb's power to destroy entire planets such as Xandar. Learning that Gamora has a buyer for the orb, she, Quill, Rocket, Groot, and Drax work together to escape from the Kyln.
Elsewhere, Ronan meets with Gamora's adoptive father, Thanos , to discuss her betrayal and the loss of the orb. Accompanied by Drax, Quill's group escapes the Kyln in his ship – theMilano – and flee to Knowhere , a remote criminal outpost in space built in the giant severed-head of a Celestial . A drunken Drax summons Ronan while the rest of the group meet Gamora's contact, the collector Taneleer Tivan . Tivan opens the orb, revealing an Infinity Stone , an item of immeasurable power that destroys all but the most powerful beings who wield it. Suddenly, Tivan's tormented assistant grabs the Stone, triggering an explosion that engulfs Tivan's archive.
Ronan arrives and easily defeats Drax, while the others flee by ship, pursued by Ronan's followers and Gamora's sister Nebula . Nebula destroys Gamora's ship, leaving her floating in space, and Ronan's forces leave with the sphere. Quill contacts Yondu before following Gamora into space, giving her his helmet to survive; Yondu arrives and retrieves the pair. Rocket, Drax, and Groot threaten to attack Yondu's ship to rescue them, but Quill negotiates a truce by convincing Yondu that they can recover the orb. The group agrees that facing Ronan means certain death, yet despite that they also understand they must stop him from using the Infinity Stone to destroy the galaxy. On Ronan's flagship, theDark Aster, Ronan embeds the Stone in his warhammer, taking its power for himself. He contacts Thanos, threatening to kill him after the destruction of Xandar; hateful of her adopted father, Nebula allies with Ronan.
Near Xandar, theDark Asteris confronted by the Ravagers, the Nova Corps, and Quill's group, with Quill's group breaching theDark Aster. While Ronan uses his empowered warhammer to destroy the Nova Corps fleet, Drax kills Korath. On theDark Aster, after Gamora defeats Nebula (who escapes), she unlocks Ronan's chambers, but the group finds themselves outmatched by his power until Rocket crashes theMilanothrough theDark Asterand into Ronan. The damagedDark Astercrash-lands on Xandar, with Groot sacrificing himself to shield the group. Ronan emerges from the wreck and prepares to destroy Xandar, but Quill distracts him, allowing Drax and Rocket to destroy Ronan's warhammer. Quill grabs the freed Stone, and with Gamora, Drax, and Rocket sharing its burden, they use it to disintegrate Ronan.
In the aftermath, Quill tricks Yondu into taking a container supposedly containing the Stone, then gives the real Stone to the Nova Corps. As the Ravagers leave Xandar, Yondu remarks that it turned out well that they did not deliver Quill to his father per their contract. Quill's group, now known as the Guardians of the Galaxy, have their criminal records expunged, and Quill learns that he is only half-human, his father being part of an ancient, unknown species. Quill finally opens the last present he received from his mother: a cassette tape filled with her favorite songs. The Guardians leave in the rebuiltMilanoalong with a sapling cut from Groot.
In a post-credits scene , Tivan sits in his destroyed archive with two of his living exhibits: a canine cosmonaut and an anthropomorphic duck .