marvel bannerWe’re only a few days away from the US release of Thor: The Dark World. A new week of red carpet premieres for the cast and crew means a new batch of Marvel news and tidbits. Unlike the past few Marvel Roundups, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige does not provide the lion’s share of information. While most of the recent roundups have featured mostly Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron news, this time we get a few words from the Guardians of the Galaxy cast to add to the collection. We’ve got several stops on this train ride, so all aboard and read on for more.

grootWe’ll go ahead and start out with the Guardians of the Galaxy news. Michael Rooker, who will be playing the blue-dude Yondu, appeared at this weekend’s Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. After toying with fans during his panel, he toyed with Mark Hughes of Forbes when asked about his buddy James Gunn‘s highly anticipated Marvel flick. He wouldn’t say much about anything, but he did say he’s excited people who may not have heard about the Guardians before the movie announcements will go back and read the comics. He said of the comics “It’s a great series, I love the old series and the new one’s pretty cool, too. So I think it’s helping people go back and look at the series if they haven’t seen it yet. Then they get all high about it, and it’s awesome. Rooker also touched on the uniqueness of Groot. The actor was incensed that people would think Groot is ‘just a tree:’

Groot is not a tree, he’s a different being from a different universe. And he’s not like a tree the way we have trees. We use it for cordwood, for cooking and heating our homes. Groot is a whole different being from a whole different galaxy, somewhere you don’t even know where he’s from. I don’t even know where he’s from. He just happens to look like bark.

Backing up Rooker‘s comments about Groot is the Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt. Speaking to I Am Roguethe Park and Rec star agreed that Groot is a great role. Where Rooker says Groot is a unique character, Pratt says Groot actor Vin Diesel is a unique talent. He praises his co-star’s voice:

Dude, I think Vin Diesel is going to be great. The role of Groot is also an amazing role. I want to tell you about it but I feel like if I tell you even one little thing it’s going to start pulling the thread that is going to expose too much. But I think Vin is going to be amazing. Vin Diesel’s voice is an incredible tool that he has. I’ve watched a couple of his movies now that I knew that he was going to be cast as Groot. Just like listening to his voice … when you think of Vin Diesel you think of the look. You think of that Diesel look. (You think of) Dom (The Fast and the Furious), xXx, the buff, and all that stuff. But truly his greatest talent is his voice I think. I would not be surprised if this doesn’t open up a whole new world to him doing voice acting. He’s really got a special tool in that voice. It’s deep, raspy and so distinct. I think he’s going to do a great job voicing this role.

Before we take a trip with the Guardians of the Galaxy though, we have to see how fares against The Winter Soldier. With S.H.I.E.L.D. having such a prominent role in the Russo Brothers directed political thriller, fans are wondering if Agent Maria Hill will take on a larger role. She was mainly just teased in Avengers, with most of her meaty scenes being cut. I AM Rogue caught up with Cobie Smulders and asked her what’s up. You can watch the full video below, but asked if she’ll be around a lot in the movie, she said “Yeah. I’m around. You know it’s all about S.H.I.E.L.D. and Maria Hill is very much involved.

Smulders added a little more in a recent interview with Access Hollywood. She adds a little more to the comment about her character having a larger role this time around:

It’s another installment of an amazing Marvel film. It’s exciting for me because I get to suit up again but it takes place right after The Avengers, “The Battle of New York” has just happened. It’s really about [working within] the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, which my character Maria Hill is a big part of. It’s showing the inner workings of S.H.I.E.L.D. and how it’s very flawed at the moment.

doctor strangeAnd it wouldn’t be a Marvel Roundup without having something from Kevin Feige, so here’s the obligatory Feige fact.Speaking with MovieWeb.Com, Feige once again confirms the fact that we’ll more than likely be seeing Doctor Strange in Phase Three. When asked what’s coming up in the next phase of films, the super producer dropped the Doctor Strange title before backtracking to the other Phase Two offerings:

Well, Doctor Strange is definitely on there…We are developing it now and some of those other titles. I’d love to see an equal number of new story lines with existing characters, and brand new ones. Obviously we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier coming out… and then we have Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a whole new one.

We plan on doing movies that people enjoy enough that they want to see another one, right… that’s the goal. And like I was saying, we have The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but then we have Ant-Man. So I like that becoming sort of the balance… with existing characters, and then new characters. And then as we go into phase 3, certainly as you know from the comics, there are plenty of story lines for all of these characters that we can choose from. But I think someone, like a Doctor Strange…Would be great to see, I just want to make sure we have a good story first. But it won’t be until middle of next year until we announce officially what the next stories will be.

So Doctor Strange is getting pretty serious considering Feige has brought it up so many times in so many interviews. With all the rumors regarding the Sorcerer Supreme, hopefully we get an official announcement about a film before the middle of next year. And even if we don’t, that’s only going to make Comic-Con 2014 all the more exciting. What do you think about the latest edition of Marvel Roundup?

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