Running down the top fandom events of the upcomming year
1. "Guardians of the Galaxy" (August)
Never let it be said that the folks at Marvel Studios are resting on their laurels. With four viable film franchises currently under its belt, Marvel seeks to conquer the word of sci-fi in 2014. "Guardians of the Galaxy" is the studio's first attempt to step outside of the mainstream Silver Age house that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby built and try something new and very different. "Iron Man," "Thor" and "Captain America" all had major history and fan cache behind them before their film debuts, but the "Guardians" are relative newcomers to the Marvel Universe. Yes, the name "Guardians of the Galaxy" existed since the '60s, but in a vastly different form, and yes, many of the individual members of the team have been around for ages (heck, Groot even predates the "Fantastic Four"), but the idea of these relative unknowns becoming a sort of space Avengers is less than ten years old. That said, it's an idea that fairly reeks of marketability. Rocket Raccoon and Groot should take the world by storm, and when you add the likability factor of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord and Zoe Saldana as Gamora, you have quite an attention grabber.
As previously stated, this is Marvel's first attempt to actively promote properties other than their core superheroes, and if "Guardians" is a hit, it could open the door to Hollywood for any number of left of center characters. The film should also give fans a major clue into the next step for Thanos and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general. "Guardians" has bigger ramifications beyond comic films, as it could be the sci-fi franchise Disney has been searching for years, a companion franchise to the recently acquired "Star Wars."