Marvel made it official, today, as they announced they have cast Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon in James Gunn’s live-action Guardians of the Galaxy adaptation.
The American Hustle star will provide the voice of Rocket Raccoon, while the character will be computer-animated. Cooper is an Academy Award nominee (for his role in Silver Linings Playbook), but talent on-camera doesn’t always translate to the voiceover booth; it’s a completely different dynamic for an actor to manipulate. With that said, I liked this choice when it was rumored, and I like it now. Rocket Raccoon is a smooth, intelligent leader (he’s essentially the Captain America of these “Space Avengers”), and I think we can assume Cooper will be able to bring that side of the character; Rocket Raccoon is also a genetically manipulated, talking raccoon who fights intergalactic crime, so there’s a bit of controlled silliness Guardians of the Galaxy will have to manage, and Cooper is absolutely a good fit for that.
Cooper joins Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), and Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer) in the film about a group of interstellar superheroes who come together to protect the galaxy (yes, just think of it as Space Avengers, if you’re unsure). I can’t say enough how much I really love that Marvel decided to introduce this title to their Cinematic Universe. They could easily just do another couple of sequels and make billions. What they also understand, however, is that Avengers earned them the kind of credit that allows them to release anything, right now, and have it make plenty of money, so why play it safe? Go for broke and release something that will introduce your film fans to something many of your comic fans aren’t even all that familiar with; it’s fantastic.
The film also stars Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Djimon Honsou (Korath), Benicio del Toro (The Collector), John C. Reilly (Rhomann Dey), and Glenn Close (Nova Prime). It will hit theaters August 1, 2014, and you know you will see it; no matter what.