Even more than The Avengers, most (all?) of the Guardians of the Galaxy core team members revealed so far will wear prosthetics, heavy makeup and in some cases, will be entirely CG. With a summer 2014 release date, principal photography on the film will begin next year and its roster of otherworldly characters is going to need to be cast relatively soon.
At this point in time, Guardians of the Galaxy only officially has a writer and a director in James Gunn, so speculation on casting has been immediately directed towards the "usual suspects" of Gunn's friends who he commonly works with. Nathan Fillion is one example, Michael Rooker is another.
Like Fillion, Rooker worked on both of Gunn's major feature films in Slither and Super. Knowing this, MovieWeb straight up asked Rooker what his thoughts are on raccoons, prodding to see if The Walking Dead actor knew anything about Gunn's big Marvel movie and sure-to-be fan-favorite character, Rocket Raccoon.
"I love raccoons. Raccoons are my friends (Laughs)!"
So, he at least knows about the character, the property, and likely has chatted with Gunn about it in some capacity. Could the actor voice the character?
"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's talk of being busy with The Walking Dead is reminiscent of Nathan Fillion's from a few weeks ago when he said he doubts he would ever be involved in a film like Guardians of the Galaxy due to his commitments to Castle. Of course, at the time, no one had officially confirmed Gunn's involvement on the project, so Fillion chatting with Gunn about it beforehand goes to show how trusting and open he is with his friends - Rooker included, evidently.
Rooker's voice will be heard by millions this November as he plays one of the main characters (voice and motion capture) in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which releases in November. It's expected to break a series of sales records like its predecessors and there couldn't be a better test of his voice-acting skills and fan reception.
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, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.