Guardians of the Galaxy press con
Photo credit: Bryan Huang for Geek Crusade

They’re here! Dave Bautista (Drax), Zoe Saldana (Gamora) and director James Gunn of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy are in town to promote the movie, which opens in Singapore on July 31.

Yesterday morning, Geek Crusade was present at the Guardians of the Galaxy press con in Singapore, which took place at Marina Bay Sands. The day started with a screening of some extended footage from the movie at Shaw Lido, which amounted to some 17 minutes.

Sadly, we can’t show you that footage, but we can tell you that it showed Starlord (Chris Pratt), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Gamora and Drax breaking out of an intergalactic jail. The action was impressive, but more than that, the wry, tongue-in-cheek tone we have seen in the trailers thus was very much intact.

Essentially: it looks very good, especially considering that GotG are some of the more obscure characters in the Marvel Comics universe.

We were then bussed to MBS for the press con, which was attended by lots and lots of local and regional media:

Guardians of the Galaxy press con
©Geek Crusade

Marvel clearly knows how to pick its directors – it was Gunn who livened up the whole event with his wry remarks and anecdotes, and Bautista and Saldana clearly responded to him as the leader of the crew.

And he was very funny too. When emcee Glenn Ong reminded the audience not to ask personal questions of the stars, Gunn responded with this:

By contrast, Bautista was rather quiet and withdrawn – Saldana affirmed his introverted nature with a smile: “Yes, he’s very shy.” – and Saldana seemed more polite than substantive.

But among other things, it was interesting to hear Saldana talk about Bautista’s zen nature and how often he meditates, in stark contrast to his loudmouth wrestling persona. Here’s a summary of our tweets from the press con:

At the request of a reporter, Bautista recounted the anecdote – one we heard at Comic Con last year – of how he broke down in tears when he found out he had gotten the role of Drax. He really is the cliched gentle giant:

Gunn had the most to say, responding thoughtfully to every question, and it was interesting to hear him stressing how much leeway Marvel gave him to make the movie his own.

Gunn was asked how GotG fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and whether his vision for the movie had to come secondary to that of The Avengers director Joss Whedon. Gunn’s response included just a little bit of info about uber-villain Thanos, apparently played in GotG by Josh Brolin:

It was also endearing to hear Saldana, looking very luminous in THAT dress, talk about the “absolute panic” she felt once she had accepted the role.

But the quotes of the day came from – predictably – Gunn, when he drew parallels between the cast and how the Guardians are a group of “oddballs”. He noted that the likes of Saldana had faced being marginalised all her life as a person of colour, and how people were skeptical that Parks and Recreation star Pratt could be an action star:

All in all, it was a pretty good press con, unlike the 14-minute DOFP debacle back in May. Here’s some more photos from the event, taken by our Grumpy Geek Bryan Huang.

And that’s that. The stars will be walking the red carpet at Shaw Lido this Saturday, and we have a survival guide to the event for you. Our Cinemaniac Diana Othman will be covering the event, so don’t forget to follow her updates on Twitter @GeekCrusade.

Are you going to the GotG red carpet? Who are you hoping to see? Tell us!