Rocket Raccoon is the ‘Heart’ of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 14th, 2014 at 11:31 am,

Rocket Raccoon Design Charlie Wen Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon is the Heart of Guardians of the Galaxy

Iron Man 3 opens next Friday overseas and with it comes the very first official trailer for Thor: The Dark World as Marvel Studios forges ahead with Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Production on the Captain America sequel is also already underway and in the coming weeks comic book fans will finally learn who will voice one of the key new characters of the franchise: Rocket Raccoon.

Chris Pratt will lead the Guardians of the Galaxy as Star-Lord, joined by the still unconfirmed Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, and in a surprising, yet not really that surprising announcement, Michael Rooker as one of the original team members. More will be joining shortly.

Speaking to media at the London premiere of Iron Man 3 this evening, writer and director James Gunn – who’s preparing to shoot Guardians of the Galaxy this summer at London’s Shepperton Studios - chatted with HeyUGuys and was rather revealing, even while guarded, in chatting about his upcoming space-faring Marvel feature. With several casting reports revealing three of the core roster members first revealed at Comic-Con last summer, there are only two of the main team left, one of them of course being Rocket Raccoon. And it sounds like Gunn already has someone in mind as it’s just a matter of time before fans find out.

I think there’s – here’s the thing: there are a lot of people who have a lot of ideas of who is right for Rocket Raccoon  Rocket Raccoon has been slightly different over the years, in the comic books, and within my scripts he is a very, very specific guy, and I think people are going to have to wait for a few weeks before they see.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon 570x333 Rocket Raccoon is the Heart of Guardians of the Galaxy

Wait for Comic-Con in July or are there announcements coming sooner? So far, they already have a crowd-pleasing lineup to bring on stage should Marvel Studios host a panel in San Diego this summer.

Gunn continues, explaining that the artwork we saw of Rocket Raccoon at Comic-Con (right above), and more recently, the new art released as part of the Phase Two preview with 10-disc The Avengers Blu-ray set was an earlier design by Gunn and artist Charlie Wen (top of post), but he looks different now, more like a real raccoon. Gunn’s even been spending time with the real animals and studying them, since Rocket is one of the essential elements of Guardians of the Galaxy and may prove to be the fan-favorite.

“We did. I’ve done a lot of studying with real raccoons  and we had real raccoons come in. We’ve done photography with them, I’ve played with raccoons, and fed raccoons, and dealt a lot with real raccoons to get some of the behavior down, because it’s really, really important to me that Rocket Raccoon, who is the heart of the movie, is not a cartoon character, it’s not Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers, it’s a real, little, somewhat mangled beast that’s alone. There’s no one else in the universe quite like him, he’s been created by these guys to be a mean-ass fighting machine.”

It won’t be long until we learn more of the voiced animated characters Groot (the tree) and Rocket as Marvel Studios is waiting for Iron Man 3 to release, before pushing forward on launching the campaign for Thor: The Dark World and making casting announcements regarding Guardians. As for what can be confirmed, Gunn did openly talk about the Star-Lord, the leader of the ‘Cosmic Avengers’:

“Everybody knows Chris Pratt is in the movie, and I saw maybe 80 to 100 guys read for Peter Quill. I was very specific that I wanted it to be somebody really extraordinary. I really had Robert Downey Jr in mind a lot. You had this guy who came in and he inhabited Tony Stark, when you first saw Tony Stark he blew your mind, you couldn’t believe what you were seeing. I knew that I needed somebody to blow my mind like that.

We saw a lot of very famous guys for the role, a lot of very well-known people, and very, very good actors. We saw a lot of good performances, but it wasn’t until Chris came in and he read and I was like, ‘oh my God’, this guy has his own, very particular, amazing take on the character that blew my mind, blew me away. Then I thought, this is the first guy I could see sharing the screen with Robert Downey Jr and giving him a run for his money.”

Guardians of the Galaxy movie cantina art 570x320 Rocket Raccoon is the Heart of Guardians of the Galaxy

Is this a blatant hint at a Robert Downey Jr. cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy or perhaps, vice versa with Pratt showing up after the credits of Iron Man 3?

“No. That just means that all our movies are connected, we’re created in a way that we’re very connected to the movies that came before us, we’re even more connected to The Avengers 2, that comes after us, and so in that respect, what we would hope is that these characters would continue, and that at some point in time they’ll all meet up with different characters throughout the galaxy.”

Sounds like Guardians isn’t as “standalone” as Feige would like fans to believe. As for the latest cast addition in Gunn’s real-life friend Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) – Is he officially aboard to play the red-mohawked, alien archer Yondu?

“Well, I didn’t say that. Michael Rooker is my very good friend, he was here visiting me in England and we were hanging out. He was here playing with my dog and having a good time. He’s got a new, little Mohawk that looks ridiculous on him, but yeah, he’s here and hopefully we’ll get something going. Michael’s been in two of my movies, we’ve done two movies together, two reality shows, a short film, so I don’t think it would be crazy to think he would be involved in Guardians in some way.”

Gunn was very careful with his words since Marvel Studios hasn’t officially announced any of the cast outside of Producer and President Kevin Feige name-dropping Chris Pratt during the Iron Man 3 world press tour. Gunn did say that Dave Bautista is a naturally gifted actor who will surprise moviegoers with his emotional range, and hinted that if Bautista were to be cast as Drax (hint: he is), it’s because of “his ability to access his emotions.” Gunn also made it abundantly clear that no one else was offered the Drax role, specifically referring to the multiple reports of Jason Momoa having been offered the part initially. He also smiled when asked about Zoe Saldana, saying “maybe” as to her casting as Gamora.

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.

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 who you’d like to voice Rocket Raccoon!

Source: HeyUGuys

TAGS: guardians of the galaxy

92 Comments

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  1. I do wonder which of the other films will meet with gotg first.

    “I’ve done a lot of studying with real raccoons and we had real raccoons come in. We’ve done photography with them, I’ve played with raccoons, and fed raccoons, and dealt a lot with real raccoons to get some of the behavior down,”
    -that is all kinds of crazy awesome….

  2. Rocket Raccoon will be awesome. I can understand the concern but he will be the scene stealer, guaranteed. I just hope he has that cockney accent of his.

  3. Right. Now cast the perfect voice for him!

    • C’mon Norm Macdonald!

      • Oh man, have you watched his video podcast on youtube? effing hilarious.

  4. Honestly I had hoped Michael Rooker would voice Rocket, but obviously that is not happening, so I’m really interested in seeing who other people want for the role. This makes me really excited for Chris Pratt though, he is an amazing actor and I can’t wait to see him as Star Lord!

  5. ..I knew one way or another Micheal Rooker would be in this film, he has ties too James Gunn, and he is awesome! Now that he has been cast as Yondu, one of the original Guardians, it will be interesting where this goes. I just hope that Rocket Raccoon is not voiced by Adam Sandler, maybe Jim Carey would be ok, he can do a British accent…Well so far , so good…

    • I think either Sandler or Carrey might have been considered for Groot, their vocies especially Jim’s suits ‘I Am Groot!’.

      The voice in MVC for Rocket was cool, but they should get two big actors for the CGI roles so as the voice is known and the movie can sell under them. I’d like to see Jason Statham take the role, he was interested in playing Daredevil they could make him famous as Rocket Racoon

  6. I’m…interested(?) to see how the racoon plays out. Not concerned; just interested.

  7. Nice! I’ve been saying since September that Chris Pratt would be perfect for Star-Lord and Gunn thinks the same as well!! Can’t wait for his performance!

    So it seems Michael Rooker isn’t Yondu? If he can do a very good Russian accent, he might be voicing Cosmo.

    I love how Gunn brought up how Rocket isn’t Bugs Bunny bcuz I’m sure he was referring to the tweet he posted, saying how someone was giving him beef about how Rocket should be more like Star-Fox lol

    • Oh I think he IS Yondu – that’s probably why Gunn was joking about the Mohawk since Yondu has that extreme red mohawk.

      • Gunn did say he looked ridiculous with it but Rooker can be growing it out for the movie. Now would be a good time to start growing it, in order for it to be long enough by the summer maybe.

  8. Sounds like they’re working hard and it’s coming along nicely

  9. I really can’t believe guardians of the galaxy is getting a movie before Black Panther, Namor & The Inhumans. That’s sad because those three actually matter in the Marvel Universe.

    • You say that like GotG doesn’t matter.

      Look, just because you don’t personally know much about them doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a good movie. Your personal sh@t doesn’t dictate reality.

    • I think Inhumans are a good pet for Phase Three. Black Panther maybe, but they need an entirely new script.

      • Where can I read the original script for BP?

      • Damn ROB your Killing it with the info AGAIN, I CANNOT WAIT FOR RR and it sounds like this is goung to be a kick a$$ movie!

        Keep up the GREAT work Rob Keyes We count on ya!!!

        THIS is now my MOST ANTICIPATED movie of 2014 I LOVE ME SOME ROCKET RACCOON

      • “Inhumans are a good PET…?”

        Lockjaw solo movie? Pet Avengers?

    • @Macgrath, Like Namor or Panther can tie Thanos to Avengers 2 any better.

    • @ Macgrath

      Those are two films I am really looking forward to seeing…Black Panther and Namor. Namor because I don’t think it has ever been done…a movie taking place entirely underwater or mostly underwater. the CGI must be spot on for it to work, but a submariner movie is one I am waiting for. Black Panther, as stated, is another. It’s probably long overdue, including a luke cage movie.

  10. Salerno Butter Cookies.
    Rocket Raccoon should eat Salerno Butter Cookies.
    I had two pet raccoons as a teenager, and they ate them.
    They were good at it, eating cookies.
    That’s what they do.
    They did not shoot guns or fly around space or hold chat-room conversations with Forsythia bushes, or trees, or the like.
    They. Eat. Cookies.
    Yum-Yum.
    That’s what they do.
    (Like fresh-water clams, too. God knows why?).

    • @Goldilocks, Were your Raccoons also genetically altered to act Human?

      • Nope, and neither was Goldilocks.

        • LMAO!!!

        • Hahahaha!

      • @ Goldilocks

        Clearly those two pet were your only friends as a child/teenager…….. or ever.

  11. Ray Winstone for Rocket Raccoon.

  12. @Ken If they matter, then what major storylines were they apart of? Lol what role do they play in the Marvel Universe?

    • “If they matter, then what major storylines were they apart of?” -Macgrath

      “The Thanos Imperative” apparently and also “Annihilation” and “Avengers Assemble” which were three major arcs that had Thanos as a big character like he will be in Avengers 2.

    • Eh? Why are you asking me? If you want to know then go do the research. Thanos Imperative, Annihilation, and numerous others are all worth reading.

    • there is a tool, right in front of your face in fact, that will give you ALL the info/lowdown/whatnot on GOTG. i’ll give you a minute to see if you can figure it out.

      • Macgrath: “The Interwebs? That thing still around?”

  13. SETH MACFARLANE FOR ROCKET RACOON

    • Yeah, so he’ll sound just like Stewie, Peter and Ted… Seriously? More Seth McFarlane?

    • No thanks

  14. Dennis miller for RR yo.

  15. @Macgrath I can’t lie but Black Panther, Namor & The Inhumans DO have a bigger role then The Guardians in the Marvel Universe. I would have rather wanted Dr Strange to come before GOTG, but at least I know it’s coming.

    • Heh, whoah there, no one claimed GotG is more important than black panther or inhumans, but they will be popping up in Phase 3. Why get all worked up just because you want them sooner? Isn’t the overall story arc being great more important than serving your wish?

  16. Let me guess, rocket will be the smallest guy but be a PACK THE MOST PUNCH/TAKE NO NONSENSE cliché?

  17. Michael rosenbaum for rocket ratcoon??

    • Rosenbaum did read for the Quill part and he is friends with Gunn, but I think they have someone else in mind.

      • @ Rob

        Someone else in mind???

        Who??

  18. Jason Statham would be perfect for the voice of Rocket Raccoon

    • Jason Statham, Ray Winstone, Bob Hoskins or Michael Caine.

  19. I’m still don’t trust James Gunn, especially the gross-out gags he might spread.

  20. Adam Baldwin for Rocket Raccoon, Whedon and Gunn make it so!!!!!!!!

    • Oh my gosh, that is perfect! Why didn’t I think of that? Adam Baldwin would be amazing!

    • Whedon yes, Gunn NO!

  21. So Bautista and Saldana are both still just rumored to be cast?

  22. “Iron Man 3 opens next Friday overseas….”
    It opens in New Zealand on wednesday 24/04 :)

    • Lucky New Zealanders! It opens in UK on Fri.

      • It actually opens in the UK on Thursday 25th. Odd to open on a Thursday I know, but for some reason it does. I guess to have a bigger opening weekend box office as many big movies seem to be doing the same over here.

  23. Rocket Raccoon. A kiddie cartoon character as the center of the movie. Marvel: Phase 2 is fizzling before it even begins. I’ll be skipping Guardians.

    • You… um, you didn’t read the article at all, did you?

  24. Yeah, I’m sorry, but any universe that contains RDJ’s Iron Man, and then introduces a talking space raccoon into it, is destined for entropy, IMO. There’s simply no way to argue around that — it’s the shark jumping moment.

    The sucking sound you hear is the life beginning to drain out of Marvel’s franchise…

    • Normally I would just say *bah* to that statement or just ignore posts like this… but the new man of steel trailer has me considering exactly what you just pointed out. The movie will do fine, I’ll be first in line for a ticket no doubt, however I do feel like bar Man of Steel looks like it is about to set might negatively effect the over-all reception of this movie.

    • @ Pete & Mardock

      You poor saps still don’t get it do you?
      And you guys are CBM fans? Well if you are, you’re giving the rest of us CBM fans a bad name (and gas).

      • No, YOU don’t get it.

        Marvel has gone to great pains to make its movies (with the possible exception of Thor) a bit more realistic than CBMs of decades past. By all accounts Iron Man 3 pushes this trend even further.

        Suddenly introducing talking space raccoons (didn’t know they HAD raccoons in space) sucks the verisimilitude right out of the franchise, IMO. And introducing more and more characters with powers also dilutes the believability and specialness of the characters we’ve already met. Suddenly there’s as many folks with powers, as without.

        Guardians of the Galaxy jumps the shark, IMO — especially when you look at the pains Nolan and Snyder appear to be trying to take with Man of Steel…making it a first contact story as much as a “superhero” film.

        • Sorry but you can’t exclude the ONE movie that has a direct comparison to GotG. It’s all or nothing and GotG, unlike IM or the Avengers, explores the more cosmic (and UN-realistic) side of the Marvel universe.

          If Thor can use a hammer only he can wield (if worthy) and twirl it around in front of him to fly then, yes, GotG and RR fit in perfectly well.

          Get over it, learn why a space Raccoon is awesome and embrace his awesomeness.

  25. I haven’t read the comic but Guardians looks like quite a trippy concept which is something I would enjo watching… From the illustrations it looks like a medieval fantasy thing but in space… Sort of Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars, a bit like the old Roger Corman classic Battle Beyond The Stars only better..

  26. If any of you guys have seen “Rise of the Planet Of The Apes” you’ll get a better understanding of what they mean about Rocket Raccoon. Some of you didn’t even really read the article because James Gunn specifically said that Rocket won’t be a cartoon character, he will however, be very serious and baddass. Stop being close minded, if animals can be trained in real life, then just imagine what a genetically modified animal could do, especially in the sci-fi world. GOTG will be a serious movie.

  27. I like what Gunn has to say. He seems really passionate about the project. His comments on the casting of Drax and Gamora felt very ambiguous though… now I have no idea who’s actually in the movie or not! (aside from Pratt of course).

    It’s also nice to find out RDJ won’t be going to space anytime soon… I think it’s a little too premature for something like, although the concept is great – and it seems to be working in the comics (GotG has been great so far).

  28. Danny Devito comes to mind when I think of actors who like to play short, furry, loud things

  29. Craig Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ray Stephenson, for Rocket Racoon.

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