The man that made mo-cap truly famous with his portrayals of Gollum (Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Ceaser (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is bringing his special skills to Rocket Raccoon.
Over the weekend news broke that another member of the Guardians of the Galaxy had been cast. It’s no secret that Marvel has been going to CGI for a lot of what they’ve been doing in their movieverse. Look at Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk and you very quickly understand why you can no longer just paint a beefy guy green and tell him, “Look angry”. Then there was that Easter Egg at the end of the Avengers movie showing Thanos played & mo-cap’d by actor Damion Poitier (shown below).
Well now Marvel Studios has signed on King Kong himself, Andy Serkis to play Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. Rather than place an 8 year old in makeup this seems like the most sensible way to go. With the success of the recently released The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (now on blu-ray), Marvel felt that Andy was the perfect choice for the role given his range of motion capture work.
About Rocket Raccoon:
Rocket Raccoon acts as the “Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant”, an area of outer space sealed off from the rest of the cosmos by the so-called Galacian Wall. Rocket is captain of the starship Rack ‘n’ Ruin, and he and his first mate Wal Russ (a talking walrus) come from the planet Halfworld, in the Keystone Quadrant, an abandoned colony for the mentally ill where the animal companions were genetically manipulated to grant them human level intelligence and bipedal body construction for many to become caretakers of the inmates. Rocket was Halfworld’s chief law officer (“ranger”) who protected the colony against various threats.
At one point, Judson Jakes tried to steal the Halfworld Bible, but was thwarted by Rocket and the Hulk. Later, Lord Dyvyne abducted Rocket’s friend Lylla, and Jakes began the Toy War. As the Toy War continued, Blackjack O’Hare teamed up with Rocket, and Rocket was reunited with Lylla. The Rack ‘n’ Ruin was soon destroyed, as Judson Jakes and Lord Dyvyne teamed up to kill Rocket Raccoon. Rocket Raccoon and his friends cured the Loonies of their mental illnesses, as Judson Jakes and Lord Dyvyne were apparently killed. Rocket and the animals and the robots left Halfworld and took off into space for their own adventures. Some time later, Rocket was revealed to have been a laboratory subject on the Stranger’s planet, and escaped his captivity there.
Rocket Raccoon resurfaced as a member of the team chosen to accompany Star-Lord on his mission to stop a Phalanx infiltration of the Kree homeworld. Rocket is depicted as a gifted military tactician who is also fearless, loyal, and insightful. It is also heavily implied that he has a case of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Stay tuned as more news arises for Marvel’s venture into space with Guardians of the Galaxy opening in theaters August 1st, 2014.