3:39pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Guardians of the Galaxy': Bradley Cooper is Officially Rocket Raccoon
The Marvel casting announcements continue. Marvel Studios confirmed rumors Friday by announcing that Bradley Cooper will indeed provide the voice for Rocket Raccoon in next year's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Cooper will make his voice acting debut, joining Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan -- all of whom will be appearing in the flesh, even if that flesh is painted green in Saldana's case -- in director James Gunn's science fiction summer blockbuster, which will be released Aug. 1. The announcement of Rocket's voice actor leaves just one major role for the movie left open officially: that of Groot, a sentient tree (although Vin Diesel is in negotiations to voice the arboreal being).
Yes, there are talking raccoons and sentient trees in Guardians of the Galaxy. It's going to be that kind of movie.
Rocket Raccoon was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffen in 1976's Marvel Preview #7, before going on to guest star in The Incredible Hulk some years later and ultimately wind up with his own limited series in 1985 (written by Mantlo and illustrated by future Hellboy creator Mike Mignola). After that, the character essentially was abandoned by Marvel save for a handful of cameo appearances before his revival in 2007's Annihilation: Conquest series, which introduced the current Guardians of the Galaxy team.
The character has since gone on to appear in video games and cartoons, showing up in both Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD in preparation for his big-screen debut next year. In what is either a lucky coincidence or a moment of well-planned corporate synergy, this week saw the release from Marvel's comic division of Rocket Raccoon: Tales from Half World, collecting the 1985 miniseries and giving newcomers a taste of the weirdness to come.