By Charles Webb
What strange new permutation will the pint-sized "Guardian of the Galaxy" Rocket Raccoon take when he hits the big screen next summer? According to star Chris Pratt, he'll be a (literally) tortured hero with surprising depth. Are we ready for the grim reimagining of Rocket Raccoon?
Speaking with Access Hollwood during the 100th episode event for NBC's "Parks and Recreation," Pratt offered his thoughts on the gun-toting Raccoon being voiced by Bradley Cooper.
“I could not be more excited that Bradley Cooper is voicing Rocket Raccoon, it’s a great character. It’s probably the best character in the movie, just because it’s not what you would expect.”
What fans familiar with the character would likely expect is a wise-cracking, space-faring talking critter with a penchant for heavy ordnance and whose best friend is a monosyllabic tree. The character, created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen in 1976's "Marvel Preview" #7, is a denizen of the anthropomorphic animal planet Halfworld, a spaceship captain and expert marksman. In recent years, he's thrown in his lot with the "Guardians of the Galaxy" to defend against the dire cosmic threats a single planet can't tackle.
Pratt says that in director James Gunn's take, when we meet Rocket, the character will have been "tortured his whole life and no one else likes him, so he’s lonely and he’s angry and it’s like, [there are] all these elements [to the character]."
To what extent will this draw on Halfworld being used as a complex insane asylum, where the guards are genetically-modified talking animals? In a series of recent backup stories, the character learned that all of his memories of Halfworld were only half-true, constructed in order to protect the galaxy from the psychic villain Star Thief.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" will be in theaters August 1st.