Michael Rooker Joins ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Cast

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Michael Rooker in The Walking Dead Hounded Michael Rooker Joins Guardians of the Galaxy Cast

Iron Man 3 is just weeks away from opening in theaters, with Thor: The Dark World deep into post-production as the next feature on the docket for a fall release. Captain America: The Winter Soldier began principal photography last week for a release next spring, and next up, at the casting stage, comes the riskiest Marvel Studios movie yet: Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy is not only ambitious for its attempt to blow open the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and explore the vast library of comic book characters and worlds that come with it, but it stars a roster of heroes and villains entirely unknown to the public, which makes the casting that much more important.

Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) will lead the team of Cosmic Avengers, and if the reports prove true, he could be joined by Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer and Zoe Saldana as Gamora. Of the Guardians team members confirmed by Marvel Studios via the first concept art (below) at last summer’s Comic-Con, that leaves Groot, the walking, talking tree, and Rocket Raccoon, whose name is a sufficient description of the character.

Guardians of the Galaxy Concept Art 570x248 Michael Rooker Joins Guardians of the Galaxy Cast

According to Deadline, Michael Rooker has just signed on with the project as well but he’s not voicing Rocket Raccoon, who he talked about six months ago:

“Oh, yeah. Most certainly. I know that James Gunn is doing it. He is directing it, and he is re-writing it. He is a very loyal director. He is a very loyal writer, when it comes to working with people that he knows and loves. He really appreciates the efforts that each actor puts into these roles. And I would be very honored and pleased to work with James Gunn again…Whether it will happen or not, I don’t know. But he is a dynamite guy, and we have remained friends ever since we worked together on Slither.

I haven’t done much research on it at all yet. Because I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m really crazy busy with The Walking Dead right now. But you know what? Write this up. Tweet the f*** out of it. If the fans want me as Rocket Raccoon, Marvel will listen to you guys, I think, sometimes… Perhaps I will be lucky and blessed enough to go in there, and go at it with Mr. Gunn again, who knows?”

Rooker, who unsurprisingly joins the cast as a working friend of writer-director James Gunn, will be playing Yondu Udonta, one of the original Guardians from the very first incarnation of the comic series in 1969. He’s an alien hunter from a planet of primitive species that represented Earth’s first colonization of another planet a thousand years into the future. He’s an archer who’s in tune with nature, but otherwise isn’t super-powered in the general sense. Think of him as the Cosmic Avengers’ version of Hawkeye.

Yondu Designs Marvel Comics Guardians of the Galaxy Michael Rooker Joins Guardians of the Galaxy Cast

The inclusion of this character has greater implications because Yondu is not actually a part of the 2008 relaunch of the series for which the film was seemingly drawing inspiration from, nor the more recent Marvel NOW! version which also features Iron Man. We know Chris Pratt is playing Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, but the original team leader was actually the character of Vance Astro, an astronaut who happened to crash on the planet Centauri IV (Yondu’s homeworld) in the future. Astro and Yondu fought together for years against the conquering Badoon (an ancient race of militant reptilian humanoids).

How does Yondu factor into the film adaptation’s take on the origins of the team and will the film introduce time travel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe or stick to same time period, but in space? Does this open the door for other original members to show up?

James Gunn’s script could very well be merging elements from both the old school and modern versions of Guardians of the Galaxy and perhaps Yondu is one of the first aliens Quill (Pratt) encounters when he leaves earth.

Yondu Guardians of the Galaxy 570x544 Michael Rooker Joins Guardians of the Galaxy Cast

Guardians of the Galaxy is being rewritten and directed by James Gunn and begins shooting in London this summer. It will be released in 3D. Expect many casting news reports shortly. For more:

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange sometime after that.

Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes if you approve of this casting!

Source: Deadline

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. Who else thinks that this guy is going to die in the movie? He should’ve been RR. Rooker’s voice is rad.

    • I don’t expect him to last long, lol, but he wasn’t a good choice for Rocket who most fans associate with a Cockney accent.

      • I think it may be a SMOKE SCREEN by Marvel or Gunn, at least I hope! I just cant picture him as a “cosmic Hawkeye” I think that is a VERY STUPID idea! and if Marvel thinks that the he would make a good RR and if they think it could help sell tickets at the BO they will do it! Everyone has said that adding the presence of well known actors will help this film and HE IS VERY POPULAR RIGHT NOW.
        I sure hope he is RR, he could pull it off!

        • Matter of opinion, I believe he’s going to do a fine ob.

          No one, not even YOU knows about his character origin or who he is.

          When they announced this a few hours ago, i was like.. who the frick is this.

          Don’t count your chickens until they hatch, bub.

          • I love Yodu, he was one of my favorites from the original GotG comic. It will be interesting to see what he looks like in the movieverse.

        • @Snappy D

          Rooker’s popular? Ok, cause I never heard of him and I’m not sure many others have either outside of die hard Walking Dead fans (I haven’t seen an episode of it so I only know of him through the comments on SR by people who jump on the Rooker/Fillion bandwagons)

          • His face and voice are widely recognized beyond the Walking Dead crowd. And yes, he’s popular right now particularly because of Walking Dead.

            You have to remember that your personal knowledge/experience doesn’t always reflect the larger reality. You can not know about something and it still be popular at the same time. You can hate something at the same time that it’s good.

          • we will make sure marvel runs all their casting choices by you so you can make sure it’s someone YOU have hear of before. Michael rooker is a pretty good actor. one of the most disturbing films he was in is called “Henry: portrait of a serial killer” i suggest you watch it sometime. he has been in a ton of films, but i have to say i cant see his voice coming out of RR’s mouth. there was an article on here a while ago that said marvel was looking at jim carey and adam sandler for voice work. i can see JC doing groot, even doing the mocap for the part (look at the concept art for groot, and tell me you cant see jim carey in that pose!) sandler could do RR, as long as it’s not his annoying schtick voices.

            • Jason Statham or Michael Caine for the voice of RR. Someone with an actual cockney accent at least.

          • Merle is one of the most popular and memorable secondary characters in The Walking Dead and is recognized by most casual watchers of the show, not just die hard fans.  Kevin Smith fans know him as the antagonist of Mallrats and horror fans know him from Slither and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.  So while you may never have heard of him, many people have and are fans of him, especially because of the popularity of The Walking Dead right now and the fact that Merle had arguably the most interesting character arc of this season.

          • Well with Statham we have such GREAT movies as the 2 with 20 other aging action stars, OR we get the movie about a professionl delivery boy? Oh THOSE WERE GREAT, OR We have CRANK 1 and 2, now those were almost Oscar worthy!!! or porn worthy?!!
            It is an OPINION of whose voice one likes better, I WILL TAKE an american over a brit anyday!! J/K Dazz

            EVERYONE that watches WD is a die hard fan of it, but thats 10 million more fans than Statham has!
            Rooker has been in 73 movies from 86′ to 2013 and 26 T.V. shows and 7 video games I’d say he has quite the resume but since YOU have never heard of him he is a NOBODY… OK
            Statham has been in WHAT 7 movies mayb 10 WOW, OF COURSE HE IS THE BETTER CHOICE because of his acting chops right?

          • @Dazz
            Did Fillion spit in your food or something? Not the first time I’ve seen you bring him up in an unrelated thread. What do have against the guy?

            • I have to agree with Dazz about Fillion! the guy is COMPLETELY OVERRATED… he was in ONE show on the sci-fi channel and while the show was OK his acting was HORRIBLE! he is a complete TURD and would NOT BE GOOD FOR ANY MARVEL FILM even for a CGI character where they only use his voice, IF he could keep the food out of it that is!!
              While me and Dazz do not agree on the voice for RR I’m usually in agreement with him on a lot of things (but not all)
              Because Michael Rooker is better than Jason Statham for RR…. LMAO right Dazz??

          • Ever seen Mallrats or Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer? If not it might be a good idea to check them out. He’s great in both.

          • No offense Dazz but you must be young. Anyone over 30 knows Rooker. He has been in a ton of films.

            • LOL alpine But I always pictured Dazz as a cranky old dude!!!
              Maybe not too many Brits Know who MR is thats why they all pine for statham and want RR to have the “cockney accent”
              I can honestly say that as soon as I saw RR I have never once pictured him with an accent but thats just me and I dont know the character very well! I dont want RR to sound like a butler thats for sure! NO OFFENSE that is just what most butlers sound like in movies!

    • Totally agree with you, his voice would be perfect for RR. Super excited for the film even with whatever decisions they make.

      • It’s not really just Brits that want statham: RR does have a cockney accent as part of the comics, not just a made up thing people want in the movie. He’s also snarky and gruff, things statham had been proven to be good at.

    • there are more people better suited to the voice of RR than him. #1 choice is jason statham

      • If not Statham then Bob Hoskins or Michael Caine.

  2. A little disappointed he’s not going to voice rocket raccoon, but at least he’s in the film. Now let’s hope we get the second wish, Jason statham to voice RR.

    • jason statham as RR !? i don’t know that would be like …..! :/

    • yes, this would be perfection. petition anymore?

  3. When I first saw he was cast for the movie, I thought he was going to do the voice & face capture for Groot.

  4. Hell yeah! But where’s Warlock at? I want him.

  5. This cast is getting weirder & weirder, but I still can’t wait until it starts filming!!!

  6. I’m still not 100% sure about James Gunn directing this film. I still nervous about the gross-out gags & the over-the-top blood & gore he’s going to spread.

    • I would’nt worry too much about over the top blood and gore, this is a Marvel Studios film. It will have enough to earn a pg 13, family friendlyish movie. Hopefully it will still be gritty and stylish though.

    • It’s a Disney property. Don’t expect a blood-fest.

      • Disney distribute the films. They have no creative input, they only distribute it (by slapping ‘when you wish upon a star’ at the beginning : /).

  7. Hmmm one of the original gaurdians, this could mean good things, but messy things like time travel… also this is a Dr strange connection, cause the defenders did work with the original gaurdians. Now, bring on Lance Astro and Charlie X! Martinex(the plutonian) wouldnt be bad either

  8. Considering all the stuff Gunn has been posting on Twitter as of late with Rooker this doesn’t come as a surprise. Good news in spite of that though. I love Rooker and his involvement just makes Guardians of the Galaxy seem even better.

  9. Well, fans have been calling for Statham as RR for months so hopefully this means we may be a little closer to realising that dream.

    I could honestly see Rooker being part of a flashback when the other Guardians explain to Quill just who and what they are, how they were founded etc.

    • In regards to Yondu’s flashback, that’s exactly what I thought when I read the report.

      I can only see Yondu as a cameo appearance.

  10. Havent read the comics yet. but all I ask for is an epic movie with an epic story, I will be happy if it happens

  11. This is great news. This leaves the door open to have Jason Statham voice Rocket Racoon.

    The fact that they have Yondu in the movie is very exciting, and seems to open up many possibilities. This is getting pretty interesting!

  12. I’m so glad they didn’t cast him as Rocket Raccoon.

  13. I’m really excited to see this movie.

  14. Statham Fanboys Jeesh. The guy can’t act! He’s the same in every thing he does.

    • I AGREE 100% BUT his voice is great! NO ONE says they want him to play a furry guy dressed up as RR…. they just want his voice to be RR

      • I agree as well about his acting skills or lack there of, but his voice is perfect for the little furry version of The Punisher.:)

        • Statham has the perfect voice and cocky swagger for RR.

          I don’t see Hollywood or the millions who spend money on his movies complaining that he can’t act.

          I mean, he can act way better than Adam Sandler and Shia LeBeouf but they always get high profile, million dollar roles despite being one note actors who can’t really act.

  15. Yondu is my 2nd favorite guardians of the galaxy member (behind starhawk) so i am beyond pumped!

  16. Hmmm here is a thought, what if both teams are introduced? What if the original team is stuck in the past and realizes the events at hand but are unable to do it themselves, so they form a ‘modern’ team without them knowing it, and it leads into a sequel where we end up having an adventure with the original Guardians

    • God no. Please, no more cliche time travel crap. It’s been done to death, resurrected and done to death again… and again, ad nauseam.

      • These guys invented that so called cliche you know, and time travel, along with dimensional/timeline travel is a mainstay of the marvel universe. I mean one time they did a timeslip to get a teenage Tony Stark/Iron Man from another timeline to fight a mind controled main tony. Its also the center of the original Guardians, however there is a twist you do not realize. They always do their best to NOT change the past, the time travel usualy involves studying the past to discover how their enemies were defeated before, and to revruit help(albiet by accident, like in the defenders crossover)

        So its not quite the cliche you think

  17. With each casting announcement I keep getting more excited for this movie. Michael is a great addition. I’m fine with him not voicing RR. He wouldn’t be my choice anyway. I haven’t really thought of anyone yet that would fit RR but I just don’t feel Michael’s voice would fit RR. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do with this movie. I have a feeling we’re going to see the old Guardians(some of them anyway) in just a small capacity just to pay tribute to the original comic and the original team.

    • +1

  18. Stoked to see Rooker as a blue skinned whistling alien archer. There are over 20 Guardians over the years so it looks like we’re still going to get a few surprises. MERLE LIVES!!!!

    • Wonder if he’ll get some lessons from Daryl? haha

  19. It’s pretty hilarious to picture Rooker painted blue wearing that weird costume. Very interesting. :)

    • no weirder than what he was in in slither

  20. Merle in guardians? hell yeah!!!

  21. Perhaps he will pass his leadership role on to Star-Lord in the film?
    Just a thought.

  22. I have a feeling we might see some Infinity Gauntlet play and they grab Yondu from the future and bring him to the present.

    That or maybe they show the Guardians from the future, telling of the Guardians from the present.

    Or they ignore what time Yondu has came from and stick him in the movie for gigs.

  23. Make him look like the comic book character. It is better than a talking tree or rocket ranger racoon.

    • Watching a talking tree or raccoon is better than reading your inane, repetitive posts.

  24. So does this mean we will see Charlie-27, Vance, etc? I didn’t know they were going to go to the original team for this movie, very cool!

  25. I vaguely remember seeing this character in on of the newer books (I think it was an Inhumans title?), but it was more of a cameo thing, it seemed…

    Anyway, I don’t really know the character at all lol. My knowledge of the GotG only reaches as far back as 2004′s ‘Annihilation’.

    I’m glad Rooker isn’t voicing RR though – that gig should go to someone British imo (Jason Statham or Ray Winston wouldbe perfect).

    • Yondu made a brief appearance in the newer Guardians of the Galaxy, back in 2009. He was in issue #16, where the current team was thrown into the future.

      Issue Cover: http://blogdesuperheroes.es/wp-content/plugins/BdSGallery/BdSGaleria/1872.jpg

      Yondu and Mantis find common grounds.

      You might of mistaken Inhumans bcuz it was all taken place within the “War of Kings” event which was an Inhumans and Shi’ar event.

  26. Rocket Raccoon should be played by SIMON PEGG.

    He can pull of the cockney/british accent and has already got experience with voice work (Tintin). I reckon he’d sound awesome as RR!

  27. I doubt time travel comes into it. I just see Yondu being in the film in a minor way, a former guardian paving the way for the new guys. Maybe his death (assuming he dies) will be pivotal to the plot. I can see him speaking a monologue at the beginning of the film.

  28. I like Rooker but I’m not sure the Marvel movie-verse needs another archer hero. So, Yondo? meh. He could’ve been a cool older Vance Astrovik.

    I’m wondering… if this does well and it gets a sequel, will we see Nova/Richard Ryder or Adam Warlock, or ROM spaceknights.