Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will start production this summer in England, but for now James Gunn and his team are in the middle of casting. At the moment, there are only two more main Guardians roles left to fill: Rocket Raccoon and Groot. With speculation surrounding who will join Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness), and Dave Batista (Riddick) as a member of the Guardians, director James Gunn recently discussed what audiences should expect from one of the movies more odd characters: Rocket Raccoon.
In an interview with HeyUGuys, Gunn discusses the challenge of finding the right person for Rocket Raccoon, and it sounds like they are close to casting the blaster-wielding furball. Gunn says:
‘There are a lot of people who have a lot of ideas of who is right for Rocket Raccoon. Rocket Raccoon has been slightly different over the years, in the comic books, and within my scripts he is a very, very specific guy, and I think people are going to have to wait for a few weeks before they see.’ Gunn continued, ‘We’ll get our dream guy, because a lot of people want to do it, so we’ll get the person who’s perfect for the role.’
Gunn’s production team actually brought in real raccoons so they could understand their movements and behavior of the animals. Overall, it seems Gunn definitely doesn’t want to make Rocket Raccoon a silly or cartoonish character, but rather the emotional center of the film. Gunn continues:
I’ve done a lot of studying with real raccoons, and we had real raccoons come in. We’ve done photography with them, I’ve played with raccoons, and fed raccoons, and dealt a lot with real raccoons to get some of the behaviour down, because it’s really, really important to me that Rocket Raccoon, who is the heart of the movie, is not a cartoon character, it’s not Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers, it’s a real, little, somewhat mangled beast that’s alone. There’s no one else in the universe quite like him, he’s been created by these guys to be a mean-ass fighting machine.
The comparisons to The Avengers seem like a given, since that Marvel movie has pretty much set the bar for large-cast superhero movies. But to hear Gunn tell it, Guardians will feel a lot more like a science fiction movie than a comic book one. Here’s Gunn:
In some ways yes, but in some ways no. In terms of a lot of stuff we’re very much like The Avengers, where it’s a very big, huge movie. It’s different because it’s cosmic, it’s in outer space, it’s very colourful. We have a whole history of science fiction behind us that we’re dealing with, and borrowing from, and also fighting with to create something unique. But at the same time there’s a lot of stuff it has in common with The Avengers.
Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014, in 3D.