Anyone who knows James Gunn's work knows that he is a very loyal director who likes to use certain actors again and again. So when it was announced that he would be directing and re-writing Marvel Studios epic sci-fi adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, speculation started to fly about who would be cast in the film. Many believed that Nathan Fillion, star of James Gunn's Slither and loved by Joss Whedon, would be taking on one of the lead roles. But the actor denied that, saying he was too commited to his series Castle to board the project.
That brings us next to Michael Rooker, who also starred in Slither and had an important role in Super. He, too, claims to be too busy with his own television series The Walking Dead to think about Guardians of the Galaxy, but he doesn't rule it out. In fact, he loves the idea of coming into play Rocket Raccoon, which we assume at this point will be a motion capture character. He does have the perfect voice for it, and its obvious that the actor has talked to James Gunn about the role.
When asked if he was a fan of raccoons, Michael laughed knowingly, hinting at this.
"I love raccoons. Raccoons are my friends (Laughs)!"
Does he think he is right for the role?
"Oh, yeah. Most certainly. I know that James Gunn is doing it. He is directing it, and he is re-writing it. He is a very loyal director. He is a very loyal writer, when it comes to working with people that he knows and loves. He really appreciates the efforts that each actor puts into these roles. And I would be very honored and pleased to work with James Gunn again...Whether it will happen or not, I don't know. But he is a dynamite guy, and we have remained friends ever since we worked together on Slither.
I haven't done much research on it at all yet. Because I don't know what is going to happen. I'm really crazy busy with The Walking Dead right now. But you know what? Write this up. Tweet the fuck out of it. If the fans want me as Rocket Raccoon, Marvel will listen to you guys, I think, sometimes...Perhaps I will be lucky and blessed enough to go in there, and go at it with Mr. Gunn again, who knows? "
When asked if he was looking forward to the fact that Rocket Raccoon will most likely be an all CGI character, Rooker let us know about his other upcoming project, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
"I have done a bunch of motion capture for Call of Duty. For the last ten months, I have been working on Black Ops 2, as Mike Harper. We've done many hours of motion capture and voice over stuff. All of my movements and facial gestures will be in the game. Expressions, voice, even my likeness, because it looks like me. He's just younger.
Look, this is a major deal. They have really gotten into this motion capture for these games. The voiceover is just one section of it. Motion capture is a big part of bringing these games to life. And bringing the character to life. In Black Ops 2, we had a lot of people who lent their voices to different characters within the piece. There are multiple levels on these games nowadays. They are quite complex.
My first gig I did for Activision and Treyarch was part of Black Ops 1. I played myself. You get to play as Michael Rooker in a zombie map pack. That is part of Black Ops 1. They do different map packs over the run of the series, so they asked me to do one of them. My map pack was me, Danny Trejo, Robert Englund, Sarah Michelle Gellar, George A. Romero...We all did this game. It's awesome. A very cool game. You get to play Michael Rooker, so it really looks like a game version of me. That's when we first developed our relationship, me and Treyarch, and Activision. Then they asked me to do Black Ops 2. So now I am not just a game pack. I am in the whole game. I have been involved with the whole game now for about ten months."
The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy will be announced soon. We have a hunch that we may very well see Michael Rooker as Rocket Raccoon. Seriously. Can you think of anyone better? Besides Jason Statham? It's got to be one of the two guys.
Here is a little taste of Rocket Raccoon in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, as voiced by Greg Ellis.