Executive Producer Victoria Alonso Talks about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot

     February 13, 2013


Director James Gunn has the toughest job among Marvel’s Phase Two films.  That’s not to diminish the work happening on Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy has the most outlandish cast, and will require a ridiculous amount of effects work considering the team includes two green people (Drax the Destroyer and Gamora), a giant-tree man (Groot), and a talking, gun-toting Raccoon (Rocket Raccoon).  The film has already cast Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, a character who was born of a human mother and alien father.

Bringing the completely alien characters to life is going to be a tall order, but executive producer Victoria Alonso recently talked about how they’ll handle Groot and Rocket Raccoon.  Hit the jump for more.  Guardians of the Galaxy opens in 3D on August 1, 2014.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-rocket-raccoonSpeaking to Cinema Blend, Alonso says that they’re already working on the visual effects, and filming is set to begin in June.  Here’s what Alonso had to say on how they’re handling Rocket Racoon and Groot:

You can’t do any motion capture with a raccoon – they won’t let you put the suit on [laughs]. But we will do rotomation, probably, for some of the behavior. Rocket will have his own personality, of course, and clearly we can’t do mocap on a tree, per say, but we definitely will have performers to emulate what James Gunn will lead to be the behavior and the performance. He’s very clear on where he wants to take the characters.

First off, you can do motion capture with a raccoon.  You’re just not trying hard enough.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with rotomation, it’s a method of tracing the performer rather than a from-scratch animation.  I’m not sure what they’re planning to rotomate (the character’s movements, perhaps?), but bringing Rocket Raccoon to life will probably be one of Industrial Light and Magic’s greatest challenges.

As for Groot, it doesn’t sound like the actor who gets cast will be the one doing the motion capture since Alonso mentions “performers”.  We’ve kind of seen tree-people before with the ents in Lord of the Rings, but I’m sure Gunn will be taking his tree-man in a different direction, and I’m eager to see what that will be.


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  • Bb

    So stupid

    • rothgar

      your face is stupid. BAM! (see what I did there)

      • Bb

        Cool, enjoy your raccoon movie, can’t wait for it to intertwine with tony stark and ruin what made marvel movies so successful.. Fingers crossed wpthat the G-force gang gets a cameo… Stupid.. And “(see what I did there)” should never be said. If you think you’re witty, let others decide that, not you…

  • Caleb the Awesome

    So awesome

  • Lexavi80

    You can have an actor doing Motion Capture for Groot! You just have to dress the actor in blue and have a long stick in his head so actors have reference of scale and know where to look when they have to look him in the eyes.

    Please, please… don’t ruin this a la Green Lantern!!!

  • Dominik Klein

    lol this is gonna be retarded and doesent fit into MCU at all. also james gunn is a shit director / writer. a hack without vision plus this is bombing at the box office big time, lol nobody besides basement-dwelling marelites is gonna pay a dime to see this in theatres.

    • JW.

      I personally like James Gunn’s films, Slether & Super are very well made films with great practical effects along with cgi and the writing is usually pretty well put together. I think it’s awesome that a director from Troma is now doing a major motion picture. And mind you this is a universe where the not so-jolly green giant and a norse god exist. Talking trees and galactic raccoons aren’t stretching it too far.

    • rothgar

      Wow, what a close minded opinion! Marvel takes chances, and that’s why their movies are good. I’m sure you thought Iron Man was going to bomb as well. I don’t understand when people so angrily write off a movie before they’ve even had a chance to see a trailer. What’s wrong with a fun space adventure movie?

  • Jon

    And Whedon was some kind of box office Titan pre-Avengers? How many failed shows did he have? Box office doesn’t equal quality.

    I am looking forward to seeing how they pull this off. I’ve been really tired of superhero stuff lately and with some fresh characters and a solid writer/director this is definitely one I’m anticipating.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s see when the person who cast chris pratt does for a career change when they fire them for the worst choice ever!

    • rothgar

      You know what Marvel does best? Out of the box casting. I think a lot of people are going to be eating their words when this movie comes out. And even though I had never thought of Chris Pratt for the role, having read a few of the more recent Guardians comics, I think he’s a perfect fit!

  • Steve

    The focus of the article was about how the effects of the raccoon might be pulled off. Creating a photorealistic tree or raccoon is not the problem. Tone is the real challenge. The guys at ILM were nervous about Yoda’s light saber battle, not because they weren’t sure if they could animate him properly, but whether it would come across as totally laughable. The success or failure of that endeavor depends on who you ask. I guess if someone is a big enough fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, this is exciting news. For some of us, though, this sounds like it could be the next Howard the Duck.

  • mad man

    I really hope this works but the odds are against this, on a side note i just want to pick up rocket and pet him.

  • Nate H

    This is completely up in the air right now, but I think Marvel has earned the benefit of the doubt since opening Marvel Studios. Jon Favreau had never done anything to warrant his direction of Iron Man, but that’s still the best Marvel film. Whedon hadn’t done anything on the scale or genre of Avengers, and that’s now the 3rd highest grossing film of all time – and it was good, too. No one would’ve chosen Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and that rocked. Chris Hemsworth had only been in one American film before becoming Thor. People doubted Chris Evans as Cap, and he had one of the best performances in the Avengers. So expectations have a habit of being defied with Marvel films.

    That doesn’t mean Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be terrible. But it does mean that we should wait and see.

  • Nate H

    PS – Groot only says “I am Groot!” which I think can be hilarious (it reminds me of Chewbacca only growling in different tones and that somehow being a language).

    • Jesus

      Clearly the “I am Groot!” gag can work. I mean look at Arrested Development’s “Annyung!” gag. So simple, but hilarious due to how long they kept it going.

  • rothgar

    You know what I did when I heard they were going to make a Guardians of the Galaxy movie? I did some research, I downloaded a couple of the comics and read them to see what this group of characters was all about. And once I did, I couldn’t wait to see it realized on the big screen. Why don’t some of you haters educate yourselves a bit before you sound off with brash comments. Wikipedia is a great source to find out about comic book characters. Go learn a little, then come back.

    • Bb

      Reading a comic is what you call educating yourself? You’re schooling must have been really rich and fulfilling lol. Could be the best comic out there, and I do like comics(though not in a way I find educational) but it will still be a stupid character… It’s a talking raccoon .. Let my type it again.. Talking raccoon

      Cool beans

      • J

        Wow, you really are a douche.

        How else are you supposed to “educate” yourself on comic book lore? By reading them. I am pretty sure that when he said ‘educate yourselves’, he didn’t literally mean ‘go and get yourselves a higher IQ’.

        And as for a talking racoon. Why not? What is Yoda? What is Gollum? What about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Just because YOU didn’t grow up seeing him plastered everywhere, and spoken about so fondly in cinematic terms, doesn’t mean it won’t work.

        Nuff said. Muppet.

      • The Smirking Revenge

        You can educate yourself on any subject. It doesn’t only refer to schooling. Clearly you need to educate yourself on the english language before you attempt to rip someone’s comment up.

        This is one Marvel flcik I’m really excited about. It’s a total gamble for Marvel and the outcome is completely unpredictable, unlike Ironman or Cap. I really hope they pull it off, just to have something different in the MCU.

  • Bb

    Cool, enjoy your raccoon movie, can\’t wait for it to intertwine with tony stark and ruin what made marvel movies so successful.. Fingers crossed wpthat the G-force gang gets a cameo… Stupid.. And \"(see what I did there)\" should never be said. If you think you\’re witty, let others decide that, not you…

    • Max

      Did you know that this Marvel raccoon guy’s been around since the 70′s?

  • Mark

    “First off, you can do motion capture with a raccoon. You’re just not trying hard enough.”

    …you’re clearly not an animator.

  • lock

    Your still stupid

    • The Smirking Revenge

      Says the person who missplelled You’re….

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  • The Smirking Revenge

    Says the person who missplelled You\’re….

  • Bob

    Do this and let your movie be amazing…

    Rocket Raccoon: Seth Macfarlane(See Ted…)
    Drax the Destroyer: Vin Diesel(See Riddick were he uses knifes and see F&F were he’s a baddass)
    Gamora: Gina Carano(see Haywire…)

    Would be amazing….

  • Lizard King

    People seem to have a lot of bile and hatred for a Guardians movie. Let me be blunt about this. Iron Man was a character few people outside of the comic book community knew until the movie got stunning reviews and became somewhat of a surprise hit. There was an uproar both when Marvel announced that Captain America would be a period-piece, and when Thor would have aliens. People said that these ideas would “ruin the MCU”. They made it stronger instead. Perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy deserves a fair chance because Marvel is experiencing a Pixar-level ratio of hits. Trust them to do what they do, and realize that you were wrong to doubt every movie that came before it so you’re probably wrong now.

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