James Gunn Addresses Casting Rumors And Calls Rocket Raccoon The Heart Of Guardians Of The Galaxy

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guardians-galaxy1The UK premiere of Iron Man 3 took place last night. As you can imagine, it was a who’s who of talent. One of the people walking the red carpet was Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. HeyUGuys (via CBM) got to speak with Gunn about some of the rumors regarding Marvel‘s first cosmic outing as well as some of the casting we’ve been hearing about. The director stated that filming would begin in earnest at the end of June. He also revealed, despite rumors to the contrary, that Robert Downey Jr. would not be involved in the film with either a guest role or cameo. Gunn remained coy for the most part, but he did reveal some interesting details.

 

rocket raccoonThe biggest things fans have been waiting to hear is who is going to voice Rocket Raccoon. There’s been a lot of names thrown out there, but we haven’t heard anything solid just yet. While we have to wait on the voice, Gunn did talk about the concept art of Rocket that was included in Marvel’s Phase One boxset. The director also revealed that he’s been doing a lot of research:

The Rocket that was by itself was an early version of my Rocket that I dealt with Charlie when developing. He doesn’t look so much like that anymore, but there’s a lot of similarities in that he’s more of a grounded, real little creature as opposed to a cartoonish thing.

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 behavior 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.

When Brian Michael Bendis was writing the new Guardians of the Galaxy comic, he said that he was having trouble with the little raccoon until he started hearing Jason Statham‘s voice coming out of the little furry mouth. Gunn was asked if Statham was the perfect fit. While he played coy, he did say we should hear something in a few weeks:

I think there’s – here’s the thing: 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.

We’ll have to wait for a few weeks to see. 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.

starlordMoving on to casting, Gunn was asked about the one person we have complete confirmation on- Chris Pratt, who will play Star-Lord. Gunn talked about the casting process: for the group’s leader

Everybody knows Chris Pratt is in the movie, and I saw maybe 80 to 100 guys read for Peter Quill. I was very specific that I wanted it to be somebody really extraordinary. I really had Robert Downey Jr in mind a lot. You had this guy who came in and he inhabited Tony Stark, when you first saw Tony Stark he blew your mind, you couldn’t believe what you were seeing. I knew that I needed somebody to blow my mind like that.

We saw a lot of very famous guys for the role, a lot of very well-known people, and very, very good actors. We saw a lot of good performances, but it wasn’t until Chris came in and he read and I was like, ‘oh my God’, this guy has his own, very particular, amazing take on the character that blew my mind, blew me away. Then I thought, this is the first guy I could see sharing the screen with Robert Downey Jr and giving him a run for his money.

rookerWe had heard recently that Gunn‘s pal Michale Rooker would be joining the cast as Yondu, a founding member of the Guardians who is a game hunter and primitive of the Zatoan tribe. Gunnn wouldn’t confirm it, but he also didn’t deny Rooker‘s involvement:

I didn’t say that. Michael Rooker is my very good friend, he was here visiting me in England and we were hanging out. He was here playing with my dog and having a good time. He’s got a new, little Mohawk that looks ridiculous on him, but yeah, he’s here and hopefully we’ll get something going. Michael’s been in two of my movies, we’ve done two movies together, two reality shows, a short film, so I don’t think it would be crazy to think he would be involved in Guardians in some way.

draxWhen asked if Zoe Saldana would indeed be playing Gamora, Gunn just laughed. While he wouldn’t reveal any information on anyone outside of Pratt as Star-Lord, he did talk about the Dave Batista rumor and assessed the man as an actor. It gets a little confusing in the middle, but it seems Gunn went ahead and confirmed his involvement in a roundabout way:

We haven’t really come out with our cast, people have gotten hold of some things, but I will say one thing: Dave Batista is one of the most naturally gifted actors I have ever seen in my life. The guy has access to his emotions in a way that I have seen very few people able to do, and if he did get the role of Drax – I’ll tell you, nobody else was ever offered that role, at all; anything you heard about that is bullshit, and if he did get the role, it’s 100% because of his ability to access his emotions, more so than anything else. And it just so happens that the guy was created in the cast of Drax when he was born, he looks just like Drax.

 

There’s still a little more from Gunn about the Star Wars vibe of the film and how this will be different from the other Marvel movies that came before. You can read the full transcript by clicking here. That’s the most we’ve heard about any aspect of the movie, officially at least. Gunn is playing this one very close to the chest, but it seems we’ll hear something official in the coming weeks. What do you think? Who do you want for Rocket?

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Source : HeyUGuys