‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: How They Made Rocket Raccoon in Marvel’s Space Adventure

Published 1 year ago by

Making of Rocket Raccoon in Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy: How They Made Rocket Raccoon in Marvels Space Adventure

2014 is a big year for Marvel studios, as the superhero movie hit-house has two movies hitting theaters that could be their best one-two punch yet in terms of both fan satisfaction and cinematic quality. Films that could mark huge blockbuster debuts for some talented directors – and in on case, launch a potentially lucrative new franchise. Big year, indeed.

The trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier has fans (and the general public) looking forward to that political thriller actioner; however, bigger chips are being bet on Guardians of the Galaxy, a much more obscure Marvel property coming to the big screen in the form of a Star Wars-style epic space adventure with some truly unorthodox characters – like a gun-toting militant space raccoon named Rocket, who will be voiced by Bradley Cooper.

CBM collected a series of quotes from various recent interviews in which Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and Marvel Studios President Feige talked about (more like re-iterated) what this film will be like (it’s a hard sell, on paper),  what this Rocket Raccoon is all about, and the lengths they went to in order to make the character work on screen.

Guardians of the Galaxy First Official Photo HIGH RES 570x320 Guardians of the Galaxy: How They Made Rocket Raccoon in Marvels Space Adventure

The Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s no secret that James Gunn used a live raccoon on set in order to help animators accurately capture the motion and behaviors of a raccoon for their CGI model; however, Gunn spoke to the magazine Small Furry Pets and revealed that – as you may have guessed – working with a real animal is probably the most difficult way you could go:

“In general, I enjoy working with kids and animals… We have a child in our film, Wyatt Oleff, who is one of the most naturally talented actors in the film – and this is a movie with Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro. I’ve never had a problem with kids. Animals on the other hand – I love them more than anything- but they are, in general, terrible actors. They usually do what they want.”

Of course, dealing with a live animal was a necessary sacrifice in order to create the best warrior raccoon possible:

“We needed a raccoon to study how he looked and his behavior, so that our on-screen raccoon, which is generated through CGI will be realistic. Our Rocket is based on a combination of our voice actor, Bradley Cooper, our on-set actor, my brother Sean Gunn, the movements and behavior and look of Oreo [the raccoon], as well as my own animation.”

Rocket Raccoon Guardians of the Galaxy: How They Made Rocket Raccoon in Marvels Space Adventure

Cooper’s attachment to the project – alongside Vin Diesel, who provides voice and motion-capture for a tree-like alien named Groot – has given Guardians of the Galaxy a certain amount of mainstream visibility it wouldn’t otherwise have (not that the rest of the cast isn’t great – it is). At first, Bradley Cooper as a talking raccoon may sound strange – that is, if you aren’t aware of the actor’s vocal talents. Said Gunn:

“Bradley is one of those actors that can do drama and comedy equally well. He can do character work as well as being a leading man. These are important qualities in the role of Rocket – which is a lot more dramatic than you might think.”

In an interview with Total Film, he added:

“[Rocket] is most representative of the Guardians in the fact that he’s this little mangled beast that was taken and experimented on and torn apart and put back together, and we have to feel that character’s soul. If we see his plight, and see why he’s such an angry little guy, then the movie will work.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Earth Ship Art 570x320 Guardians of the Galaxy: How They Made Rocket Raccoon in Marvels Space Adventure

Kevin Feige also talks about how Guardians of the Galaxy is “ninety-nine percent” set in outer space worlds, and how it connects to the main Marvel Movie Universe – check that out over at CBM.

How do you feel about the prospect of Rocket Raccoon becoming a major player in the MMU? Do you think Gunn – the man behind such off-beat indie cult-hits like Slither and Super – has the right approach to making the character a blockbuster action star? Will Bradley Cooper nail the character’s voice and swagger? Only time (and a big trailer) will tell.

…As for that aforementioned strong cast? Well it includes Benicio Del Toro, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Djimon Hounsou, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker and Zoe Saldana.


SEE ALSO: The Characters of Guardians of the Galaxy


Guardians of the Galaxy will be in theaters on August 1st, 2014.

Sources: Small Furry Pets & Total Film via CBM

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. God this movie is going to be amazing. It’s agony just waiting for an official trailer and even more agony waiting till August 1st.

    • +1 bro

    • Whoa whoa whoa. The director’s brother, Sean Gunn, is being used as reference for Rocket???? BAHAHAHA Why in the cosmic cube would Marvel waste money on this absurd form of Nepotism? You already spent money on a real raccoon not to mention video tape performance of Bradley Cooper reading his lines along with an army of insanely talented digital artists.

      I am not holding my breath on GotG being some epic “Star Wars” style piece by a long shot.

      • You may have something there. How does a director who did too very low budget indie films go from that to a big budget Visual Effect Franchise film? The answer… he doesn’t do it gracefully. He’s putting his foot in his mouth and I’m willing to bet his lack of expertise in this area will show and ultimately hurt the film

        • Why don’t you take cue from your dumb appendage insertion comment.. And instead of typing on stuff you don’t know anything about just put your hands in your mouth…. sssssssh!

        • Well mark webb did only 500 days of summer and music clips, then he did the new amazing spider-man, so……what ? steven spielberg direct a crapy movie before he got his big opening

      • Come on have you never watched a single “behind the scene” feature? They used Sean Gunn for the sake of the actors as a registration point. The hulk scenes like Thor vs Hulk wasn’t Mark Ruffalo but a stand in. A REFERENCE point for the actor to look. They didn’t waste money; the shooting for Guardians of the Galaxy was wrapped way before Bradley Cooper was signed on. They will go back and eraser Gunn and replace it with what they can use from Cooper. sheesh

      • what do you think now

  2. You guys get cool points for adding that Rocket Racoon gif from the leaked comic con trailer.

  3. Im liking Rocket Racoon, from what ive seen, the CGI looks really good. And in that gif, it really looks like a real racoon shooting a gun lol.

  4. i dont know if ive ever been so excited for a film like I am for this

  5. I have such high hopes and excitement for this film. Everything about it just sounds, and looks, freaking awesome. Can’t wait for a trailer. Maybe someone at DC/WB should look to this film and learn a few things about casting…

    • Nah, they’re doing great on their own…no matter HOW much that irritates you.

      This movie looks like it MIGHT be amusing…I’ll have to wait and see more info. as it’s released.

      • You’re right, everybody loves Batfleck and Gal Gadot’s casting. It’s not like millions of people scratched their heads and did a unanimous “wtf??” Contrary to what some snobs on SR may think, the response to the casting of MoS 2 has been overwhelmingly negative.

        • ^^^^^Exactly!^^^^ I’ve already determined I will not see MoS 2 in the theater. Most common word regarding casting choices is “ridiculous”.

          • ^^^Concur^^^. MOS was a major disappointment for me, and obviously many others as well. The casting for its sequel, thus far, has added to that disappointment. The film is further looking like a Justice League movie rather than a true sequel.

            As concerns GOTG, I don’t know anything about the comic, but for me, the raccoon looks totally out-of-place, even ridiculous, with the rest of the characters, so it will be a DVD viewing.

        • Oh, of course, there were negative reactions (and to hear tell of it from Marvel Zombies, there will ALWAYS be). Overwhelming? Not even close. In fact, a great many people who WERE frothing at the mouth about the Affleck casting calmed down and even see potential in such casting. As for the Gadot casting, yes, many people took issue with it…quite a few (though not ALL) of them reacted in the negative for very juvenile, even stupid, reasons (the proud comic fan weeks I call “Boobgate”). Some of that, however, has died down, and I have no doubt the apoplexy will lessen even more as more time passes and other CONFIRMED news bits come out. Comic fans are nothing if not (and it pains me that this is, often rightfully, the way the general public views our kind) crazed, panicky, and inane.

          That brings me to my final point: WE are the ones making a big deal out of all these rumors…Joe Schmo knows not and cares not about any of it. Since I’m actually excited by what COULD be now that this movieverse seems to be expanding (and since we know exceedingly little of what WILL be), I remain hopeful and positive…you know, like a FAN (instead of the pitiful fanBOY so many are showing themselves to be).

          You keep whining…feel free.

          • What I don;t seem to understand, Archaeon, is how you scoff at how GotG is being presented and promoted, yet seem determined that MoS 2 will be absolutely stellar. There’s only 2 things we know about MoS 2, Batfleck and Gadot, and the general reaction to that was “erm…”

            Whereas we know a lot more about GotG, and it certainly looks to be a film to be watched, as these comments show. If it does prove to be a success (and it looks like it will be), Marvel will still have accomplished what WB/DC is unable to do, which is introduce their low- tier characters to the general public.

            • Van Dyne…

              What I DON’T understand (no “seeming” involved) is where you got the idea that I’m scoffing at GotG. The reason I capitalized the “might” in my statement is simply because I am not a regular reader of the comic and am still a bit dubious about a combative raccoon and a walking, talking tree warrior. Then again, I loved the portrayal of the Ents in the LotR trilogy and enjoyed Reepicheep (sp?…it’s been awhile) in the “Narnia” films, so who knows…there’s hope. I do, however, also have the extreme disappointment of IM3 and the not-fantastic-BUT-much-improved “Thor: The Dark World” as my only examples of the direction Phase 2 is taking, so far (so far, NOT impressed). Yes, there have been OTHER DC movies that were disappointments, BUT DC has rebooted to the fantastic Nolan/Bale DK trilogy and the excellent MOS. The casting news has only encouraged my hope, as I think they are (at the very least) clever, perhaps even brilliant. Again, I’m waiting to see.

              As for what the majority thinks, that is WORST measure of quality…read your history books…the majority is often just as stupid as it is smart. Make up your OWN mind…as am I.

              Hope that cleared it up for you…

            • Oh…one final point of clarification: I WILL be seeing GotG and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier and A:AoA in theaters when they release, as well as MOS2 and whatever other DC films might be coming out relatively soon. THAT is because I (as a fan) want ALL of these films to do well and keep being made. How many of the WHINERS do you really think are feeling that way about BvS? WILL they actually see it? Possibly. Will they continue to complain about it until its release? Likely.

      • A really strong inferiority complex there. How sad.

        Everyone knows that DC is on the verge of financial failure. Every film of the last decade has been a critical failure sans Nolan’s Batman. Yea, that’s really “great”.

        I also love how you talk about whining when all you do is right essay responses to every one-liner someone makes. You’re an oversensitive fanboy. This stuff must take up a huge portion of your life, and I feel sorry for you in that.

        • “Everyone knows that DC is on the verge of financial failure. Every film of the last decade has been a critical failure sans Nolan’s Batman. Yea, that’s really “great”.”

          Even if you were right about the films being ‘critical failures’, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t a success at the box office. Seriously? DC on the verge of financial failure?

          Since the first DC movie (back in 1966) I don’t remember a film that didn’t surpass its budget other than Jonah Hex and Catwoman. Do you have any info supporting anything else?

          Also ‘last decade’?

          2004 Catwoman Budget:US$100 million Gross:US$82 million
          2005 Batman Begins Budget:US$150 million Gross:US$374 million
          2006 Superman Returns Budget:US$204 million Gross:US$391 million
          2008 The Dark Knight Budget:US$185 million Gross:US$1.004 billion
          2009 Watchmen Budget:US$130 million Gross:US$185 million
          2010 Jonah Hex Budget:US$47 million Gross:US$10 million
          2011 Green Lantern Budget:US$200 million Gross:US$219 million
          2012 The Dark Knight Rises Budget:US$230 million Gross:US$1.084 billion
          2013 Man of Steel Budget:US$225 million Gross:US$668 million
          TOTAL: US$1.471 billion US$4.017 billion

          I think they are doing pretty good, nevermind the animated films(which are awesome BTW), TV shows, comic books etc.

        • John…

          Since BORED! made, in his own way, the point I would have about your idiotic proclamation of DC’s impending collapse, I will stick to the OTHER imbecilic comment you made: The one about my state of mind and my response to whining fanboys.

          Tell me, John: Does it HURT your brain to say such moronic things all the time (since you I have history, based on other threads, of going at it verbally)? I would hope such witlessness DOES cause you pain, so as to make you less likely to be so silly in future encounters. History, unfortunately, indicates a probable “NO” to that question. Sad.

          Good luck.

        • @John & Archaeon – It’s apparent neither of you agree with the other’s viewpoints. Let’s just stop responding to each other before things get out of hand.

          Paul Young – Moderator

          • Paul…

            Fair enough…I’m done. I imagine John is too.

  6. This movie is going to be great

  7. I’ve always doubted this film’s mainstream viability and thought that it was going to be a really tough sell, but with all that star power and some charm from the characters, it might not be so bad.

    I still have to see a trailer to fully judge since I’m sitll not completely sold on the concept of a talking tree and racoon, but the models shown in the pictures above don’t look too bad.

  8. Pepe LePew’s secret identity is revealed!

  9. Sadly they just copped out and stuck a raccoon’s head on a small humanoid body.

    • Yes, because creating an expressive, animated character is just that simple

    • If there’s a raccoon who stands on two legs and wears an orange jumpsuit, how much different from a raccoon’s head on a small humanoid body can he even look?

  10. I think this could be my favorite Gunn movie. I enjoyed Slither, but really really liked Super. It was indie weirdness and tentacles with moments of violent emotion that would just suck the air out of me. I think Gunn could be better than ever in a studio environment where he has a bit more structure and someone to tell him “no” occasionally.

    • Super was a poor man’s knock off of Kick Ass IMO and not nearly as good.

      • I prefer Super to Kick-ass, I felt it was the superior of the two. Far more realistic and more enjoyable all around, and I loved Kick-ass, I just prefer Super.

  11. Marvel Movie Universe? MMU? I know you guys on SR are completely DC biased but atleast try!

    • “Marvel Movie Universe” is wrong? It can ONLY be “Marvel Cinematic Universe”? REALLY?

      My, my…SOMEone has become a NAME-snob. Sad.

  12. I have high hopes for this movie. I never read any Guardians of the Galaxy comics until I heard the film was being made, and boy was I blown away. I think for Marvel to be risking so much on such a relatively new and obscure (but excellent) team of characters must mean they’ve got something really good cooking up their sleeves. I think it’s also a good tactic to use a movie focused on this small group of relatable underdogs to introduce audiences to more of the cosmic “heavy-hitters” like Ronan the Accuser, the Kree, the Nova Corps, and maybe further on, guys like Richard Rider, Captain Marvel, Quasar, and if Marvel ever gets the rights back to FF, the Silver Surfer and Galactus. Let’s keep in mind also that the first Iron Man film was almost as risky as this back in 2008. If GotG is as good as it looks, word-of-mouth will make it a financial success, just as it did with Iron Man.

    • looks like that coon is gonna hork up a porkchop bone!

    • Looks cheap like Babylon 5 tv show. No way Disney is going to allow them to keep this crass bathroom sense of humor. Not appropriate for the kids.

  13. Trailer can’t come soon enough for me. The gif is great by the way.

  14. Rocket is my fav in the comics. He should steal the show!

  15. Rocket Racoon looks so good. Just like a racoon. Amazing racoon…so great of a gif. High hopes a scene like this happens…..
    Groot,”I am GROOT”
    RR,”is that the only you thing u gonna say?”
    RR”…” [unzips pants, pees on groot's shoulder]
    RR”How bout now u stump?
    Groot,[looks at shoulder, looks back at RR who smiles, Groot turns to StarLord who has a smirk, looks at Gamora and Drax who are looking at RR] “I AM

    • Rocket looks too literal a translation of a real raccoon. He should be more stylized like everyone else that we,ve seen so far.

      • Agreed. Plus how are you going to sell toys of a Rocket that jut looks like a plain odd Racoon? I as a parent would not allow my kids to buy one.

        • A parent… yes you would… there are far worst and useless things you have bought.

      • No he shouldn’t have…he’s a raccoon.

  16. Damn—I can’t even imagine what this is going to be like. I can’t WAIT!!!

  17. Using a racoon as a superhero is the most ridiculous character on marvel to date. Whats next a flying mouse,thus raccoon character is gonna ruin this film.

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