Bradley Cooper has officially joined Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
The 38-year-old Silver Linings Playbook star will voice Rocket Raccoon, an intelligent, anthropomorphic raccoon who is master tactician and marksman. Up until his Cooper’s casting, Rocket was the only character who hadn’t found an actor yet.
Latino Review first reported that Bradley Cooper was up for the role on August 22. The website cited sources from England, where the movie began filming last month, who said Cooper was the only person who was offered the role.
Director James Gunn admitted that Rocket Raccoon is his favorite character, and said he “love[d] him with all my heart” and that he felt very protective of him. Gunn said he also had a vision of what he wanted Rocket to look like cinematically.
“It’s not about creating Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers. It’s about creating a character that’s a little animal that’s taken and experimented on, pulled apart and put back together again and implanted with cybernetics,” he said. “He’s half machine and half raccoon and he’s a little gnarled, miserable pretty angry creature because there’s nothing else like him and that’s not easy to be.”
In an April interview with HeyUGuys, Gunn said there were a lot of people who had ideas for who they thought was right for Rocket Raccoon.
“Rocket Racoon 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,” he said. “We’ll have to wait for a few weeks to see [who our dream guy is]. 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.”
Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters August 1, 2014.