It's always fun to look at concept art for a big budget blockbuster, as it gives you an interesting look into just what could have been if those in charge had made some slightly altered decisions. In the case of Guardians Of The Galaxy, we almost had a couple of different looks to the Guardians themselves. In the case of Rocket Raccoon, we almost had a less cuddly version of everyone's favorite smart ass parading about on the screen. However, if you thought that was the most extreme change you've seen for a Guardians character, then feast your eyes on what Gamora almost looked like.
Pictured above is concept artist Andy Park's early design for the look of Zoe Saldana's Gamora, "before she had to be green." Now traditionally, Gamora has always been green, but apparently Marvel wasn't always committed to sticking with the color.
There was some precedent for Marvel deviating from the standard Gamorra green. If you look at previous interations of the character, the shade of green used has at times been light enough that it could almost pass for a shade of grey. You can see what I'm talking about in the photo below.
And here's the Gamora we actually got in the film...
That said, light green is far less of a variation than going straight-up purple. Keeping Gamora in a bright and vibrant green definitely fit better with the color palette that James Gunn used throughout Guardians Of The Galaxy. Besides, Dave Bautista's Drax is sort of a purplish-blue. Differentiating Gamora more was probably a good idea.
Apparently they played with different shades of green too. In the next piece of concept art, Gamora is a more eye pleasing shade of green, but her skin has a tattoo-like skin pigmentation which reminds me a little of Drax.
Here's Drax as he appeared in Guardians, for comparison...
The look that was used in the final film fit the needs of Guardians Of The Galaxy best. That doesn't take away from the artistic value of Park's work, but it does demonstrate why it eventually was turned into nothing more than a footnote in history. Before we go, let's take one more look at what Gamora could have looked like.
You can follow Andy Park's Twitter feed here to keep browsing his concept art.