James Gunn Talks Up Rocket Raccoon's Importance And More In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

While Kevin Feige teases some surprise appearances, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn reveals his brother's role in the film (or on-set) as well as talk up Bradley Cooper's Rocket Raccoon.

Speaking with Total Film magazine, Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige talked a bit about Guardians of the Galaxy. “Ninety-nine percent of the film takes place on the other side of the universe with all new characters and all new worlds, although through certain connective tissue – such as Thanos in Avengers and some surprise appearances,” he teased. Suggesting Marvel's been building towards a full-fledged space adventure that'll be Guardians, Feige says “we explored some of that in the first Thor, Avengers and then more so in Thor: The Dark World.”

For his first interview since wrapping principal photography on Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn talked with British magazine Small Furry Pets. Revealing his brother Sean Gunn's contribution to the film, Gunn also talks up Rocket Raccoon and his on-set model, a real raccoon by the name of Oreo. “We needed a raccoon to study how he looked and his behavior, so that our on-screen raccoon, which is generated through CGI will be realistic,” he explained. “Our Rocket is based on a combination of our voice actor, Bradley Cooper, our on-set actor, my brother Sean Gunn, the movements and behavior and look of Oreo, as well as my own animation… Bradley is one of those actors that can do drama and comedy equally well. He can do character work as well as being a leading man. These are important qualities in the role of Rocket – which is a lot more dramatic than you might think.” James Gunn once again dubbed Rocket “the heart of the movie” in a separate interview with Total Film magazine. “He is most representative of the Guardians in the fact that he’s this little mangled beast that was taken and experimented on and torn apart and put back together, and we have to feel that character’s soul,” Gunn says. “If we see his plight, and see why he’s such an angry little guy, then the movie will work.”

Back with Small Fury Pets magazine, James Gunn was asked at one point if he would agree with the showbiz phrase 'never work with kids and animals,' considering the filmmaker's Instagram shows him playing with mammals of various shapes and sizes. “In general, I enjoy working with kids and animals” he replied. “We have a child in our film, Wyatt Oleff, who is one of the most naturally talented actors in the film - and this is a movie with Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro. I've never had a problem with kids. Animals on the other hand - I love them more than anything- but they are, in general, terrible actors. They usually do what they want.”

Meanwhile, here's a glimpse at the first bit of licensed merchandise for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Hot Toys teased the mask of Star-Lord's inevitable figurine, while Marvel Toy News has revealed prototypes for Funko's POP Vinyls! based on Star-Lord, Groot and Drax the Destroyer.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand - with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is presented by Marvel Studios and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gilian, Djimon Hounsou with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Commander Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film opens August 1, 2014.

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