As we all know, the role of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" is not being played by a true raccoon, but rather by human Bradley Cooper in a CGI disguise -- a casting decision which almost certainly caused outrage within the raccoon thespian community.
But while it's easy to criticize the filmmakers for not giving a shot at the role to a real, actual nocturnal mammal, these clips of more authentic contenders for the part show that the choice to cast Mr. Cooper was not made lightly. Below, we've rounded up the real, actual footage* of raccoons from the studio's top-secret and ultimately abortive attempt at an all-raccoon Rocket Raccoon casting call.
*Real actual footage may or may not be code for "gifs we found on the internet."
Many raccoons answered the call.
This raccoon didn't have the hand-eye coordination to make the cut.
This one had an awkward running style that ruled him out as an action star. (He also had a long criminal record as a cat food thief.)
This raccoon was a diva who wanted to rewrite every one of his lines.
This raccoon didn't actually want the part; he just showed up for the free craft services fruit buffet.
This guy lacked the requisite jumping skills.
This raccoon was hospitalized midway through auditions after an ill-advised attempt to eat a cat.
Still more raccoons didn't make the cut after they failed to complete the physical challenge...
...or showed up drunk on the first day of filming.
This raccoon was a contender, but decided to quit public life after an embarrassing "trapped on top of pole" scandal.
This one left the cast at the last minute to join the Cirque de Soleil.
And this guy was offered the part, but refused to accept it if he couldn't bring his best friend along.