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The Guardians is a 2015 american superhero film produced by Wonder Studios and distributed by Fanfic Studios Motion Pictures. It is the first instalment in the Wonder Cinematic Universe (WCU). The film was directed by Duncan Napier, written by Aaron Moon, with the story by James Havock, and with the screenplay by Alison Day and Blake McKay. The film features an ensemble cast including Kellan LutzMary Elizabeth WinsteadMichelle PfeifferMichael DouglasMeryl Streep, and introducing Star Quest Talents Sean MeltonBethany MotaGage Gray and Chrissy Costanza.

Plot

The film follows the story of six individuals whose paths crosses in New York City, each having different agendas. Unbeknownst to them, they are the members of the protectors of the Earth, the Guardians. To fulfill their destiny, they must protect humanity from the impending danger of an invasion from an alien species.

Each of them discovers a unique ability bestowed upon them when they were chosen to be part of the Guardians. They use these abilities to defend their world.

Summary

In the opening scene, an alien creature ruling in a galaxy called Jenock 21 is seen searching for plants that has the resources their species needs. His right hand in ruling and the head of the council, Lerock (Dominic Monaghan) tells him that they have found their next target. The ruler, who goes by the name The Apocalypse (Josh Brolin), tells him to get ready, as a large army prepares for launch, in their map pointing towards a planet in the Milky Way, called Earth.

Six individuals crosses paths in New York each having different agendas. Wren Elkins (Kellan Lutz), a retired Army who was sent home after an incident in the past, visits General Fred Trenton at Aldrich Industries where he tries to be reinstated back to the Army, but fails to do so. Tess Goodwin (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) moves to New York with her sister Jane (Caitlin Carmichael) from Vancouver and stays with her best friend Holly Freimont (Rebel Wilson). 

Noah Aldrich (Sean Melton) son of Adam Aldrich, CEO of Aldrich Industries, is with his brother Noel (Brant Daugherty) and Nolan (Cody Christian) as they continue their search for their mother, Carrie, who was lost in a plane crash in the pacific. Max Roden (Gage Gray) travels to New York for an interview for a scholarship at the New York University, while in search for his father that he has not seen since he was born, who was last seen in New York. His mother, Theresa Roden (Michelle Pfeiffer) suspects him on his agenda to New York. Faith Matheson (Chrissy Costanza) arrives in New York to pursue her dreams in fashion, to prove to everyone that she can be successful without her father’s money. Brooke Keenan (Bethany Mota) meets Wren at the National Library, where they both return a book they do not own titled, “The Chosen Ones”. Brooke lives in New York with her parents, and she has been studying hard to get a good job to help he parents out.

Tess and Holly’s car breaks down in front of the library and Faith gets forced into getting into the library when the rain pours. Max is already in the library as he studies all about NYU. All six of them end up in one of the rooms in the library, where they are locked in. Soon, they notice that they are all locked in the room as it descends into a secret room, where they meet Sebastian Neuman (Michael Douglas). He reveals to them that it is not a coincidence that they are all in New York in that exact moment in time, revealing that they are a group called The Guardians. First confused, Sebastian shows them a hologram, explaining how an alien species called Algens sent their spirits to all the corners of the universe, picking six beings in each habitable planets to receive the spirits and acquire powers before their world was destroyed, in order to protect the receiver’s world, something they were unable to do. In Earth, the spirits will then choose six beings who will inherit powers and protect the Earth. After many questions, the six denies involvement with Sebastian, saying that it was all special effects. They are then released but Max stays, as he becomes interested with what Sebastian was telling them. Meanwhile, Apocalypse orders his fleet to send a meteor like device that would scan the Earth. The meteor passes through Saturn and the other planets, as it closes in on Earth.

In NASA, they pick up the signal of an incoming projectile headed towards Earth. The chief scientist tries to get his people to determine the projectile, but only concluding that it is a rock meteor, as the device prevents other technology from determining its true form. They then try to asses a way to avoid destruction, but they are too late as the meteor nears its landing at the heart of New York. The chief scientist alarms President Quintin Porter, who is aboard Air Force One flying over New York to Washington DC. As the President hears his call, he quickly reports the news to the pilots, who are saying that they are not seeing anything. Suddenly, the meteor hits the tail of the plane as it gets out of control, spiralling out of control in the sky above New York. The meteor hits one of the skyscraper by the National Library as debris starts to fall down the streets. Everyone in the Pentagon is under Red alert as Air Force One crashes into one of the skyscrapers, the debris crashing down the library. Tess immediately grabs Holly and Jane as they avoid the debris. Wren then sees concrete about to fall on them as he manages to catch the heavy concrete with ease, throwing it aside. One of the jet engine crashed down into a section of the library and explodes. Noah then covers himself with his arms as the explosion reaches him, but finds that ice has formed, preventing the explosion from doing further damage. Now the six of them have witnessed two of them possessing powers. Sebastian tells them to follow him as they head to a hidden staircase leading underground. Holly and Jane questions the events and Sebastian promises an explanation once they are safe. 

The news of the President’s demise and the destruction in New York City is now news all over the globe, as Vice-President Lucila Kinsey (Meryl Streep) takes over as the President. Now believing Sebastian’s story, the six of them agrees to take their place as the Guardians. He introduces his loyal friend, Clay, to show them to their rooms. One by one, Faith, Tess, and Max discovers their power. Faith can create and control fire as well as fly, Max can control the flow of water while Tess can manipulate the weather. Brooke discovers her powers to be magic, being able to create energy as bolts, and fly. They undergo training under the supervision of Sebastian and Clay. President Kinsey rules the death of President Porter an accident as NASA continues to investigate the meteor.

Sebastian gathers the six to let them know that the meteor that hit the Earth was not a meteor. He reveals that as the protector of the Guardians, he is given some abilities, provided by a wooden staff. He is able to see through solid objects. He notices a metallic object wrapped inside the meteor, which flew away as destruction covered New York. He suspects that a threat is imminent, and that he plans to move everyone to a secure location. Noah volunteers to use their jet to fly to Hawaii. They arrive at a secure mansion in Hawaii, where they train using their powers. Clay then arrives with Nolan and Noel, who apparently got on board the jet. Noah explains to them everything that has happened, as well as the event in New York. President Kinsey arrives at NASA where she orders to give the investigation to the Pentagon, but i is revealed that she is taking the investigation to a secret government agency, called COMBAT. An alarm is then triggered of multiple large objects nearing Earth, revealing it to be alien spaceships. The director of COMBAT, Malcolm Sloan (Dennis Quaid), orders everyone to be vigilant as they prepare for a possible attack from aliens, revealing the agency to be dealing with Terrorists threats from outside Earth.

The spaceships start to deploy smaller spaceships to Earth. Each of the small spaceships comes crashing down like meteors. One of the ships crashes towards Taiwan. A model doing a shoot by the window of a building witness the meteor like ship crash through the middle of Taipei 101, as its upper half crash down the streets, killing a COMBAT agent who tried to clear the building. Another hurls towards Manila, causing multiple buildings to explode. A debris falls towards a kid, while his mother calls after him. A COMBAT agent uses an arrow to cause the debris to explode into smaller pieces, and he grabs the kid out of harms way. One of the ship falls towards Brazil, and another towards Vancouver, where it derails a skytrain, with a pregnant passenger almost falling off, before being pulled up by a man. The Guardians watch the news as horrifying footage of the destruction around the globe is shown.

Lerock reports to Apocalypse to tell them that they have identified the six Guardians and have sent armies to kill them. Back in Hawaii, Sebastian tells everyone to hide in the panic room, but the Guardians decides to stay and fight. Alien armies arrive using spaceships and attacks them. The Guardians and Sebastian fight back using their powers, and in the middle of the fight, Clay is killed. The armies are defeated and they all mourn Clay’s death. They all travel back to New York, where they see their families waiting for them, as their video of fighting the aliens have surfaced. More of the aliens arrive, this time with Apocalypse himself appearing. He explains that he need Earth’s resources and that he will not stop until everyone standing in his way is killed. A fight ensues between the Guardians and Apocalypse, where Apocalypse uses his power to freeze Max, Faith, Wren, Tess, Brooke, Noah and Sebastian. Apocalypse then shows the six how great his power is as he stops Sebastian’s hear killing him. Max manages to escape from his power, and he charges angrily at Apocalypse controlling the water around New York Island. As he clashes with Apocalypse, a bright light envelops the city and Max is nowhere to be found, leaving Therese devastated, as well as the five Guardians. Apocalypse tells everyone to surrender and he will spare their life, as he heads back to the mothership. They all mourn for both Sebastian and Max’s death, as the five gives up after losing a member. Wren then tells everyone how they need to save the Earth, and the rest of them supports him, as they declare war on Apocalypse. A video feed from Apocalypse is then broadcasted around the globe as he reveals that he has Max’s mother, Therese, Tess’s sister and friend Holly and Jane, Brooke’s parents Kurt and Jennifer, Faith’s father Leonard, and Noah’s family, Adam, Noel and Nolan. The five of them have no choice but to surrender, as Lerock brings them to the mothership, which has landed on top of the ocean outside New York.

Apocalypse shows them how he has created destruction all over the globe. The five then breaks free from their captives, ensuing another battle with Lerock, Apocalypse and his army, while their families hide from danger. Apocalypse manages to overpower the five, but before he could kill them, Max appears out of nowhere and attacks him. The six regains from the fight and battles their way out. Apocalypse intends to kill max with a spear but Therese sacrifices herself as she is killed by Apocalypse, angering Max once more. He uses all his power over water as he defeats Apocalypse, while Faith, Tess and Brooke help their families escape. Wren and Noah defeats Lerock and the other armies as Max drowns Apocalypse with his power. Wren and Noah grabs Therese’s body and escapes as Max collapses the ship with water, sinking it after he escapes. The small ships around the world collapses as the Jenocks have been defeated. Max mourns the death of his mother. Max recalls how he survive as he reveals that someone has teleported him out of the battle before he collided with Apocalypse. Three months later, the six have returned to Hawaii as they discuss how they are going to protect the Earth. Wren will protect Africa, while Noah will protect Europe. Faith will be in charge of Australia and Hawaii, while Tess will protect South America. Max will be in charge of Asia, while Brooke will stay in North America.The movie ends as the world rebuilds from the destruction.

In the mid-credits scene, The Guardians find a COMBAT Agent, Vince Mackey (Zac Efron), has knocked Noah’s bodyguard unconscious with an arrow while they were at the Hawaii Headquarters. As they confront him, Malcolm Sloan, emerges, introducing himself as director of COMBAT (Confidential Operations of Mighty Battles Against Terrorists). He lets them know that they will help the Guardians protect the Earth, revealing that there are other forces other than the Jenocks who will pose a threat to Earth after The Guardians have defeated one of the most powerful leader of galaxies.

In the post-credits scene, Theo (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the person who teleported and saved Max, watches Max in Therese’s grave in the distance as he promises that he will avenge their Mother’s death, revealing that he is Max’s brother, before teleporting himself to a research facility in an isolated island. Hee reports to a female scientist, revealed to be Cassie Aldrich, Noah’s mother who was supposedly lost at sea from a plane crash.

Cast

For a list of all cast members: Full Cast

Production

Development

In July of 2012, The Fanfic Company has started developing a movie franchise sharing a shared universe based on superheroes. In August 2012, Wonder Studios hires James Havock, Alison Day and Blake McKay to write the screenplay for its first film in the WCU. At the time, the title for the film was "Earth's Mighty Protectors". Aaron Moon was hired to direct the film but on November 2012, Moon left the seat to focus on writing the script and planning for future movies in the WCU. On January 2013, Duncan Napier signed on to direct the film. Wonder Studios has planned a release date of August 2014 for the film. On March 2013, the film was renamed to "The Guardians". The film's release date eventually changed to a later time. Moon has high hopes for the film and stated that in the event of the success of the film, it will turn into a franchise within the WCU. On November 2014, Wonder Studios announced The Guardians and its expected release date to be the Summer of 2015.

Writing

Moon and Havock stated that they started planning on the film's storyline as early as October of 2012. The writing process began mid-June of 2013. At first, they wrote the Guardians to have nine members at the maximum, each of the letters in "Guardians" representing each of the members. The writers had trouble being able to give equal amount of screen time for each characters and so they reduced it to six. They want to portray the team as a whole without a leader doing all the work, and so they wrote in The Protector. The Protector serves as the guide of the Guardians and he is the one that reveals to them their true destiny.

Screenplay writers Day, Moon and McKay did not want the film to be all action and adventure, and wanted to integrate a little bit of humor to the story. Moon, who wrote scripts for the comedy series, A High School Rockstar, came up with the humor that can be put into the film's story. They also created a comic relief character which has a connection with one of the Guardians.

Casting

On August of 2013, Kellan Lutz landed the role as one of the Guardians. Lutz signed on to Wonder Studios for a total of seven films, including The Guardians. Amanda Seyfried was offered a role as one of the Guardians but she turned it down, and eventually, the role went to Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Moon casts four of the remaining members of the Guardians and gives the role to Star Quest Talents Sean Melton, Bethany Mota, Gage Gray and Chrissy Costanza. The four including Winstead, had signed on to a total of six films. On November 2013, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rebel Wilson, Meryl Streep and Michael Douglas joins the cast. The role of the film's antagonist was given to Josh Brolin and Dominic Monaghan.

By December 2013, the cast has been filled with the addition of Caitlyn Carmichael, Brant Daugherty, Cody Christian, Jessica Brown Findlay and Jeff Bridges. On November 14, 2014, Wonder announced that Brant Daugherty and Cody Christian will portray the three Aldrich brothers, one of which Sean Melton will be playing.

Filming

Filming began early 2014 in New York City as the main location. New York Public Library was used in the film. Filming is expected to end on December 2014. On November 14, 2014, Brant Daugherty, Cody Christian, and Sean Melton were reported filming some of the scenes for the film. Filming concluded on January 2015.

Sequel

On August 2014, Wonder Studios announced the list of films for Phase 1 of the WCU. Included in the first phase is a sequel to The Guardians expected to be released in the early 2017.

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