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There’s Guardians of the Galaxy footage out there. It exists. Those of us in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con were stunned to see a finished reel of amazing Guardians footage, even though director James Gunn had only been filming for a few days. The shoot is finished now, and a proper trailer easily could be ready to roll. Just don’t expect to see it on your television next Sunday.

Gunn’s Guardians was one of the movies we singled out as a pending blockbuster that could benefit from a splashy Super Bowl campaign. I mean, Marvel guru Stan "The Man" Lee kind of admitted the other day that even he isn’t fully aware of all the members of this irregular team. And so Joe Public really needs to be educated on this potentially awesome film if it hopes to reach Thor and Iron Man levels for Marvel Studios.

The Super Bowl spot ain’t happening, however. At least, that’s what Gunn says on Twitter, and he’d probably know.

God, that sucks. If Marvel has snapped up a spot or two for the big game, they likely will use it to hawk Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yet, given the familiarity with Cap (Chris Evans) and the success of The Avengers, do they really need to market that movie to the football crowd? Just tell them when it is, and the ticket buyers will show up.

Guardians needs to be explained. One hero looks like a tree. The other is a gun-wielding raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. This isn’t a "slam dunk," even though the footage we saw in Hall H was so fantastic, you just know that Gunn is on to something special. The way he describes the team is so perfect, I like to repeat it every time I write about Guardians. He said that if The Avengers are The Beatles, then the ragtag Guardians are The Rolling Stones, bad-boy heroes who kind of don’t give a fuck. They could be amazing.

What is this "incredibly awesome" thing Gunn has planned? No idea. It, also, could be tied to the release of The Winter Soldier, which reaches theaters in April and will set the stage for August’s Guardians release.

Listen, we’re usually 100% on board with Marvel’s moves. I fear that ignoring a Super Bowl spot dent’s any progress Guardians has made so far, though. Can they make up ground? Probably, but it’s almost starting to look like an uphill battle between now and August 1.

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