Glenn Close is in final negotiations for a key role in Marvel Studios’ outer space adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, which James Gunn is directing for an August 1st, 2014 debut.  Close will play the head of the intergalactic space force known as Nova Corps (Nova Prime).
According to The Hollywood Reporter Gunn plans to begin shooting the Guardians film in London in late June.  THR also confirms a report from that actor John C. Reilly is indeed in negotiations to play Rhomann Dey, an Agent Coulson-type liaison between the Guardians and S.H.I.E.L.D. (see "Mark Ruffalo Signed for 'Avengers 2'").
Close, who has been nominated for six Academy Awards, but never won, is typical of the high profile thespian that Marvel Studios has been able to attract to its increasingly popular projects.  Guardians of the Galaxy, which alone among Marvel Studios’ Phase 2 films actually hopes to spark a new franchise, is the most daring of Marvel’s initiatives so far, a full-blown space opera with little grounding in reality.  Judging from the choice of director (James Gunn) and the casting, the plan is to leaven Guardians with a fair amount of humor.
Chris Platt of Parks and Recreation will play the half-alien, half-human Star Lord, while Zoe Saldana is set to play the green skinned assassin Gamora, David Bautista will portray Drax the Destroyer, Michael Rooker will essay the role of Yondu, and Lee Pace is on board to play the film’s as-yet-unnamed villain.  Still unannounced (or unsigned) are the voice actors for two CGI characters, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, a giant tree-like creature.