The fact that Marvel was passing over some of its better known properties to do a Guardians of the Galaxy movie during Phase II of the building of their cinematic universe always looked like a head-scratcher. The Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t just an obscure property, it’s a weird, obscure property. To Marvel’s credit though, they seem to have completely embraced the weirdness of this motley crew of space assholes and look to be intent on giving us an uncompromised version of them on the big screen.
First, they hired the maker of some of the weirdest genre films we’ve gotten over the past few years, James Gunn, to come on and direct the film. Then they scoured the Earth for the exact right mix of sitcom actors, professional wrestlers, current big names, and surprising screen legends to make up its ensemble. The casting process on this film has seemed to take forever, but Gunn and his people knew that they were making an outside the box movie that would take some outside the box thinking, so they made the effort to make sure they had the perfect actor to get each character right, no matter what background that performer might have come from.
One particular role has been left sitting, unfilled, all this time though. It’s the one casting we were most interested in hearing about when this movie was first announced, and it’s the one casting we still haven’t got any confirmation on. There have been rumors, whispers that Marvel was holding out for an A-list name, but never any solid word on who was going to be playing the gun-toting space vermin Rocket Raccoon. No solid word until now, that is, because it looks like Marvel has finally found their man.
After all this time, it’s looking like the guy they’ve settled on is Bradley Cooper. The big news was first broke by The Latino Review, who reported that the Hangover star had risen to the top of the pile of people they were looking at, and had been offered the part. Since then, The Wrap has confirmed their story, and stated that negotiations between the two parties have officially begun. So, barring any financial or scheduling complications, it’s looking like Rocket Raccoon is going to sound like Bradley Cooper.
At first glance this seems like a strange choice, as Cooper is an actor who’s much better known for his looks than he is for having any sort of distinctive voice. Is he really the right guy to be providing the voice of a computer generated raccoon? Given all of the talk about all of the people who were being looked at to do the job, it would seem like we’re just going to have to trust that Cooper did an audition at some point, and whatever he did in that audition was good enough to beat out any of the other intriguing names we’ve heard were being recruited.
After they’ve taken this much care to get every other role in this weird ensemble cast correctly, Gunn and his people wouldn’t just give up and settle on someone like Cooper because audiences in Middle America know his name, would they? Heck no. Cooper surprised a lot of people with his performance in Silver Linings Playbook, so there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to do the same again. Here’s to looking forward to seeing something great.