Fans of Marvel's recent movies have another thing to be excited about today. "Guardians of the Galaxy," the studio's planned quasi-sequel to this year's blockbuster "The Avengers," is close to finding a director in independent film icon James Gunn.

Hollywood Reporter writes that Marvel is close to signing a deal with independent film director James Gunn to helm one of their next films "Guardians of the Galaxy," set to premier in 2014. While Gunn, who directed 2012's "Super," is a front-runner, Marvel is also considering Peyton Reed, director of "Yes Man."

"Guardians of the Galaxy" comes as part of Marvel's "Phase 2" of movies, including sequels to "Captain America," "Thor" and "Iron Man," as well as a new movie for the classic hero Ant-Man. Marvel announced "Phase Two" in July at the San Diego Comic-Con.

The superhero-filled "Guardians of the Galaxy" was originally launched in the 1960s, but the series was relatively unpopular until a 2008 relaunch by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Promotional art for the film version draws heavily from Abnett and Lanning's conception of the team, which sees the team protect cosmic locales from annihilation.

While the team's roster has varied over the years, the movie version will star Groot (a strange tree creature), Star-Lord (a half-human space vigilante), Drax the Destroyer (a human resurrected as a green warrior), Gamora (the last survivor of an alien species) and Rocket Raccoon (a talking, gun-toting raccoon).

While the film's plot has not been officially released, most fans agree that it will center around Marvel's popular cosmic villain Thanos. Thanos worships a physical embodiment of death and has several ties to the Guardians of the Galaxy, namely Drax the Destroyer and Gamora.

Marvel's latest blockbuster "The Avengers," featured a mysterious alien army known as the Chitauri serving under the villain Loki. The film held off on explaining the Chitauri's origins until a post-credits scene revealed they were furnished by Thanos.

Gunn has only directed two feature films, 2006's "Slither" and 2010's "Super." "Slither" is a science-fiction horror comedy starring Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks as they attempt to fend off alien parasites in a small South Carolina town.

"Super" lampoons super hero movies, casting Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page as a deeply deranged superhero duo. The film was released without a rating and only earned $324,000 at the box office.

While Gunn's directorial efforts have not been highly successful at the box office, Gunn has served as a writer for the popular 2004 "Dawn of the Dead" remake and 2012's cult hit video game "Lollipop Chainsaw."