The Marvel Cinematic Universe has only explored Earth and Asgard so far, but come August 2014, the studio will take us to galaxies unknown. James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy will be the first film in the MCU to take place in space. While we know that Thanos serves as the only connection to the MCU, we still don’t know who the villain is or how it fits in the timeline. So Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige cleared the air on some of that, providing details on where it fits, and who the true villain of the film is.
In an interview with Empire Magazine (via Comic Book Movie), Feige revealed who will be the main villain of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Ronan The Accuser is very much the main bad guy. And Thanos is lurking above it all. You will learn more about Thanos in Guardians, for sure. Certainly you’ll get more than the one turn around and smirk. You’ll get much more than that!
While Benicio Del Toro and Michael Rooker, who play the Collector and Yondu respectively, are also villains in the film, it looks like the Guardians will have to primarily contend with Ronan (Lee Pace). It should be interesting to see who Marvel casts as Thanos, or maybe they have already done so.
When asked if Guardians fits into the MCU timeline, Feige said:
The general answer is yes. It’s not exactly revealed what year or month it is in relation to the other Phase Two films. But yes, it’s the same time.
On how Guardians of the Galaxy is connected to the MCU:
Certainly more than the others. We’ve already said that Thanos plays a part in it and is a character in it. That in and of itself should tell you it’s connected to the other worlds.
While Ultron is the villain of The Avengers 2, it only seems fitting that Thanos is the villain in The Avengers 3. After all, he did appear at the end of the first Avengers film with a giant smirk on his face, so that has to mean something, and he is one of the biggest Marvel baddies that the Avengers ever had to deal with in the comics. But we won’t even know how he fits into the MCU until we get to see him in Guardians.