James Gunn will start production on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy this summer in England, so getting together a cast of strong actors is important if Marvel wants the cosmic superhero movie to be as successful as Iron Man. Actor Michael Rooker has just been announced for the cast, which already included Chris Pratt (Zero Dark Thirty), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek), and former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista.
As reported by Deadline, Rooker will play Yondu Udonta, a Centaurian game hunter of the primitive Zatoan tribe from the Plysa Forest on Centauri IV. Rooker was most recently seen as the somewhat-redeemable redneck asshole Merle Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Yondu Udonta is one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, from the comic’s initial run back in the late 1960s. He was born in the late 30th century, and his home planet of Centauri IV was the first colonized by humans outside of Earth’s solar system. But when an alien race called the Badoon tried to take over both Earth and Centauri IV, Yondu joined forces with Vance Astro, an astronaut from Earth; Charlie-27 from the Jupiter colony; and Martinex from the Pluto colony to form the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Yondu doesn’t have any superpowers, but his species possesses a mystical “sixth sense” with all living life forms. He is also an expert archer.
Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014, in 3D.