It’s rare that a movie will announce its scene-stealer before the movie opens, but Rocket Raccoon (who will be voiced by Bradley Cooper) is being tipped to be the standout character in Guardians of the Galaxy. As far back as six months ago, director James Gunn said Rocket Raccoon was the heart of the movie. Now star Chris Pratt, who plays Star Lord, is singing the praises of the talking raccoon. At a party to celebrate the 100th episode of Parks and Recreation, Pratt told Access Hollywood that Rocket isn’t a cartoon, but a real character. It’s a statement that lines up with Gunn’s comments at Comic-Con where he said Rocket Racoon was “not about creating Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers.”
Hit the jump for more on what Pratt and co-star Michael Rooker had to say about Rocket Racoon. The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, Peter Serafinowicz, and Vin Diesel. Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014.
“[Rocket Raccoon has been] tortured his whole life and no one else likes him, so he’s lonely and he’s angry and it’s like, [there are] all these elements [to the character],” he continued. “You sort of forget about that, you wouldn’t think about, [and] hopefully will come to life. I think it will and that’s why they hired a really good actor to do the role. I could not be more excited that Bradley Cooper is voicing Rocket Raccoon, it’s a great character. It’s probably the best character in the movie, just because it’s not what you would expect.”
Rooker, who plays Yondu, also had some comments on how his character feels towards Rocket [via ScifiNow]:
“Rocket and I don’t get along, he’s a bit abrupt and brash for my taste. I probably have a little Merle in me still, because I would roast him over an open flame and eat him for supper!”
Fan fiction writers, your Walking Dead/Guardians of the Galaxy mash-up has been done for you.