James Gunn Hobnobbing With Raccoons In Preparation for 'Guardians'

[caption id="attachment_174720" align="alignleft" width="300"]Rocket Racoon Marvel[/caption]

Sure, Groot the Talking Tree seems like a challenging character in Marvel's Phase Two adventure series roll-out, but "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn's got his sights set on making Rocket Raccoon right.

Per Vulture, Gunn's been briskly studying up on his raccoon lingo and into by getting up close and personal with the critters.

Gunn said he's "done a lot of studying with real raccoons" in an effort to "get some of the behavior down," including taking photos, playing with the critters, feeding 'em.

"[I]t's really, really important to me that Rocket Raccoon, who is the heart of the movie, is not a cartoon character ... It's not Bugs Bunny in the middle of 'The Avengers' - it's a real, little, somewhat mangled beast that's alone."

Seems legit. Even Disney's TV version was pretty boss.

"The Avengers" director Joss Whedon expressed some confidence in Gunn's vision for the pre-"Avengers 2" Marvel movie, saying "James is what makes me think it will work ... I myself was sort of like 'Well, I liked Rocket Raccoon as a kid, but I'm not sure how that plays.' And then they said, 'Well, we're thinking about using James Gunn.' And I said, 'Oh then no, you're fine.' He is so off the wall, and so crazy, but so smart, such a craftsman and he builds from his heart. He loves the raccoon. He needs the raccoon."

Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana and Michael Rooker are all attached to star (so far).