James Gunn Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY; Says Rocket Raccoon Is the Heart of the Movie and It’s “Very Different” from STAR WARS

     April 19, 2013

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As filming is currently underway on Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the next film on the studio’s docket is Guardians of the Galaxy.  Casting has been ramping up lately on the space-set film, with Chris Pratt onboard as Star-Lord, Michael Rooker set to play Yondu, and Zoe Saldana and David Bautista in negotiations to fill the roles of Gamora and Drax the Destroyer, respectively.  Writer/director James Gunn recently took part in a lengthy interview in which he spoke about his plans for Guardians of the Galaxy. In addition to revealing that filming begins at the end of June, he talked about the importance of the character Rocket Raccoon, how he put his cast together, and he addressed comparisons to Star Wars.  Hit the jump to read on.

james-gunn-dogSpeaking with HeyUGuys, Gunn revealed that filming on Guardians of the Galaxy begins at the end of June and he talked a bit about his approach to the sci-fi world of the film and how the finished product will differ from the concept art we’ve previously seen:

“I do think we’re very, very different from Star Wars. Some of the concept art that came out is under my tutelage, and some of it is before my tutelage…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.”

Speaking of Rocket Raccoon, Gunn talked about how integral the character is to the overall film:

“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.”

guardians-of-the-galaxy-rocket-raccoon-concept-artGunn added that we will have to wait “a few weeks” to see who will be playing Rocket, but he did talk about how he stumbled upon Chris Pratt for the film’s lead role:

“We saw a lot of very famous guys for the role [of Star-Lord], 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.”

Pratt is fantastic on Parks and Recreation and he showed off his dramatic chops with Zero Dark Thirty, so I can’t wait to see him hold his own in Guardians of the Galaxy, let alone watch him go toe-to-toe with RDJ in The Avengers 2.  Head on over to HeyUGuys to read the full interview, in which Gunn also talks about the casting of David Bautista.

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