See James Gunn Hanging Out With The Real-Life Inspiration For His Best Marvel Character

James Gunn took to social media to show the surprising (but also very clearly direct) inspiration for his best Marvel character ever.

By Matthew Creith | Published

James Gunn

When Guardians of the Galaxy first hit theaters in 2014, many of the characters of the blockbuster addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe became instant classics. From Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Nebula, and Drax, the group of intergalactic criminals turned guardians of the universe have provided laughs and thrills to many fans along the way. Now, director James Gunn has given the world a glimpse into the inspiration for one of Marvel’s funniest and best characters: Rocket the Raccoon. See it here:

With many of the characters returning to the MCU franchise for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn recently took to social media to show off some pictures with animals that his phone thought might be cats. According to, the director wrote, “In honor of #Caturday, I searched ‘cat’ on my iPhone & here are some things it thinks are a cat.” One of these happened to be Oreo, a familiar-looking raccoon which Rocket was originally based on. After some fans replied to his Caturday tweet, the director surprised everyone with some more photos of the adorable raccoon. Taking to Twitter once more, Gunn put Oreo on full display as he replied to one fan’s tweet stating, “That was my buddy Oreo, a rescued raccoon who Rocket was based on. I loved him. He’d run and tackle me every time he saw me.”

While Rocket the Raccoon has become a fan favorite of the Guardians films, it appears that James Gunn may not be the biggest fan of Rocket’s inspiration in Oreo after all. Replying to some of the tweets to his photos of Oreo, Gunn goes on to say that while Oreo was beautiful and sweet, he wasn’t exactly polite to the director and others around him. Likening Oreo to Anthony Kiedis and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers circa 1992, apparently, Oreo may have caused some destruction in a hotel after the Guardians premiere in London some time ago.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently in production, with James Gunn returning as director and Bradley Cooper reprising his voice role as Rocket the Raccoon. Many of the characters from the Guardians franchise will be featured in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is set to air on Disney+ in December. Fans have been waiting a while to see their favorite characters come back to the big and small screen.

These newest installments to the successful Marvel franchise have come with quite a bit of controversy in the past few years. James Gunn was reportedly fired from the MCU due to past comments he had made on Twitter, per Deadline. DC went on to hire Gunn to take over directing duties on 2021’s The Suicide Squad, which grossed over $160 million globally. After Gunn’s public apology for his controversial tweets, Deadline reported that he was reinstated to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Recently, Giant Freakin Robot reported that some fans were not pleased with how Dave Bautista has been filmed as Drax for the Disney+ holiday special. Further controversy erupted after some fans called for Chris Pratt’s recasting, which prompted Gunn to intervene and defend the actor.

Controversy aside, it’s nice to see how playful, albeit destructive, Rocket the Raccoon’s inspiration can be.