While the debate about the The Avengers usually hinges on how epic and/or fun Joss Whedon’s seminal super hero team-up film was, nobody really argues that it was the best-made film of all time. In fact, a detailed breakdown reveals that Avengers was actually the most error-ridden film of 2012 on the technical front. That is to say that along with the overwhelming sense of fun and adventure it brings to the table, The Avengers: Age of Ultron has plenty of room to be a cinematically superior film to its predecessor.
Avengers 2 will at least have a different flavor to it, because while Joss Whedon will still be in the director’s seat (as well as handling script duties), the job of actually shooting the film will be changing hands. Meanwhile, Marvel’s big 2014 gamble, Guardians of the Galaxy has actor Bradley Cooper musing on the kind of voice he will be creating for the gun-toting extraterrestrial oddity that is Rocket Raccoon.
CBM dropped the news about the Avengers 2 director of photography change-up. The new man behind the camera is Ben Davis, who helped create the vivid signature look of his longtime collaborator Matthew Vaughn’s cult-classic films, Layer Cake and Kick-Ass (to name a few). Davis was already snagged by Marvel Studios to work as D.P. on Guardians of the Galaxy; apparently Guardians director James Gunn was singing high praise of Davis, and Joss Whedon (having observed the results) concurred with that praise. (Makes you want to see that Guardians of the Galaxy trailer more than ever, am I right?)
With Davis locked-in, it’s official that Avengers 1 director of photography Seamus McGarvey will be moving on; he’s got the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie adaptation to do, so that’s something. (We kid, he also has the Godzilla reboot under his belt, and that IS something.) Davis seems like a nice trade, as the films he did with Vaughn are noted for their particularly unique, vivid (and quality) visual presentation. If Davis has truly brought a militant raccoon and tree-like alien to life in convincing fashion, a killer James Spader robot in a guranteed box-office smashing sequel should be relatively easier.
Fanboys were thrown for a loop when it was announced that Bradley Cooper is Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. For months debate raged about who had the best baritone (or cockney accent) to bring Rocket to life in convincing fashion, with guys like Jason Statham having their names thrown around the Interwebs. When Cooper was announced, it was sudden wake-up call that Marvel is likely going in a different direction with the character.
Or are they?
The conversation that Collider had with Cooper was vague at best, as Cooper clearly had that signature Marvel Studios defense shield go up as soon as Rocket’s name was mentioned. It’s at least clear that Cooper and Gunn have talked about the infamous “Cockney Rocket” approach to things; at the risk of being presumptuous, it’s probably been conversation regarding why the hell a space raccoon would ever have such a distinct earthly dialect and accent.
To be fair, though, even the image below depicts Rocket with what could be interpreted as a voice translator – an easy plot device to circumvent the issue of alien-to-alien linguistics and communication. It’s easy to believe that Chris Pratt’s character, Star-Lord, could have his own internal translator, and the reasoning why he would want a raccoon to sound like an Englishman holds some pretty potent comedic potential. The skittish squeaks of a furious raccoon suddenly transformed into a thick Cockney brogue? That already has me chuckling…
One thing people may not know: Bradley Cooper is as adept with voice acting as he is regular acting (and I don’t mean that sarcastically, either). He is a noted impressionist, and can really bend his vocals to suit some pretty unorthodox styles and tones – so what he’ll do to fully embody the lonely and tortured soul who is Rocket is anyone’s guess at this point.
No doubt that Cooper’s Raccoon voice will be a highlight – and then, heated topic of debate – whenever that Guardians of the Galaxy trailer eventually drops.
Guardians of the Galaxy will be in theaters on August 1, 2014.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters on May 1, 2015.