If you're tired of looking at the same old concept art for Disney's (NYSE:DIS) upcoming Marvel blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, you're in luck.
On New Year's Eve, more than a year after announcing its initial plans for Guardians, Disney finally released the first screen grab to feature the cast of its latest comic book-based movie franchise.
According to the Fool's Steve Symington in the following video, it's about time Disney's veritable hype machine picks up the pace.
After all, given its space setting and comparatively outlandish group of lead characters, it's not too difficult to argue Guardians of the Galaxy is by far the riskiest film Disney and Marvel have undertaken so far. And though The Avengers' Joss Whedon has praised the work of Guardians director James Gunn -- even going so far as to claim Rocket Racoon will be a standout favorite with audiences -- Steve thinks Disney has plenty of work to do in convincing most movie-goers to accept a walking, talking, gun-wielding animal in the current Marvel cinematic universe.
This in mind, Disney hasn't confirmed any official budget numbers for Guardians. But you can bet its star-studded cast didn't do it any favors, with big names including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Benicio del Toro, Glenn Close, and the voice talents of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
What's more, considering Disney spent $150 million and $170 million, respectively, to create the first two Thor films, it seems safe to assume at least as much will be required for this special effects-centric production. Taking the mid-point of those figures, then, means Guardians will need to gross at least $320 million at the box office to prove profitable.
To hear Steve's full take on the challenges Disney is facing to ensure Guardians of the Galaxy stands a chance at financial success, check out the video below.