Early on in the process for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it felt like Yondu, played in director James Gunn’s film adaptation by The Walking Dead’s Michael Rooker, was everywhere. Some of the first set pictures we saw were of the 59-year-old actor painted blue with a spiffy Mohawk hairdo, and he was just always around. That dropped off sharply as things moved forward, and sure, he’s been featured in some of the landslide of promotion for the film, including the latest extended trailer—which you should watch if you haven’t—but not as prominently as before. But the comic book giant has released a trio of new photos of the character, as well as yet another new TV spot, this one hailing from the international market.
A member of the Zatoan tribe from Centauri IV, Yondo is an archer, a hunter whose home world was colonized and taken over by the human race. Though he doesn’t have any inherent powers or abilities, he is naturally a mystic, and a crack shot with his longbow. Talking to USA Today, Rooker had this to say about how his character relates to Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, the leader of the Guardians:
He’s [Star-Lord] feeling lost, vulnerable, defeated, emotionally drained and hurt, and here is Yondu in this light coming down and brings him up into the spacecraft and takes him away. It might have been pretty horrific, but also a bit cool.
Rooker continues, adding that Yondu has “some interesting issues — not a good guy, not a bad guy. There’s hope and there’s a heart inside… It’s not so black and white — I should say blue and white. And I enjoy roles that are like that, even if they’re not in some galaxy somewhere other than ours.”
Even if he doesn’t play a huge role, his part is definitely of some importance in the grand scheme of things. This photo is the best of the bunch, showing Yondu, along with Kraglin, his first mate, who is played by Sean Gunn, brother of the director. I wonder how he got his job?
Photo number two makes Yondu look like just some dude painted blue, but that expression on his face belies much more going on beneath the surface.
In this last picture, you definitely get a glimpse of the crazy that made Rooker’s Merle character so memorable on The Walking Dead.
This international TV spot starts off with what Rooker was talking about earlier, how Yondu showed up and took Star-Lord, also known as Peter Jason Quill, away and up into the stars. The movie pits the unlikely crew of mismatched outlaws that also includes Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel). Together they must find a way to work together and save the galaxy from the evil Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), who is on the rampage and after an artifact that may be one of the Infinity Gems.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens everywhere on August 1.