Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
I was hoping you could talk a little bit about casting because the cast of this film is insane. Specifically, I’m curious about what you saw in Bradley Cooper to be the voice of Rocket Raccoon.
GUNN: I think that you can find a real through line with the actors who I like and who I’ve worked with in the past, and who I worked with in this movie. And that is, I really like people who can do both drama and comedy and not some like middle of the road do both drama and comedy. I’m not talking about some guy who does these bland dramedies all the time. I’m talking about people that have done heavy drama and who have done heavy comedy. And if you look back in like Slither, that’s what attracted me to Elizabeth Banks, when I first did that.
They tried to meet with Nathan Fillion, they tried to meet with a lot of different people. I think that you can see that in Bradley Cooper as much as anyone in the world. When we were looking for Rocket, it was hard because Rocket to me is really the heart of the movie. He’s this tortured little beast who’s completely alone in the world and has been torn apart and put back together and turned into this little thing—yet he’s still really funny.
You need somebody who can do both sides of that, and it was really very, very difficult to find. I think Rocket’s voice is a little bit like mine in some way. He speaks very quickly, he’s got a little city in him and that’s something that Bradley Cooper has. To be completely frank, we auditioned a lot of actors for the role and we auditioned a lot of voice actors for the role, and we were completely 100% willing to go with somebody that was a no-name. A no-name’s a rude term, but somebody who was not a famous person. The truth is, the voice actors usually seem too cartoony and seemed like somebody out of a Pixar movie. The actors, it was hard to get just the voice right. Bradley is really the guy. He is the guy, he’s Rocket. There is a great feeling as I’ve been making this movie, with myself.
I had a chance to do an a A-list film a couple years ago. I was working on it and after a certain point—and I’m trying to think of how to say this in not an egocentric way, but if it comes out as egocentric, then that’s how it comes out. It was like after I was doing it, I’m like, “They just want me to be so vanilla.” That at the end of the day, it just seems like any big director could come in and direct this movie and at the end of the day it was gonna end up being the same movie no matter what. I felt useless and it was a lot of money. It was a big thing and I guess it was a good step for my career and maybe it would’ve helped me be able to go do something I wanted to do more. But it made me sick to my stomach and I really couldn’t do it, and I walked because I just—I couldn’t do it. And this for me is a dream project because I feel of use every single day.
I don’t think, “Maybe somebody else could do a better job, maybe somebody else could do a great job,” but nobody is gonna tell the movie in the same way that I’m gonna tell it. There’s nobody that would tell the same film that I’m telling right now. And I feel like that’s so true about so many of the people we’ve picked up along the way. I can’t tell you about how good Dave Bautista is. There is nobody in the world who could do what he’s doing in this movie because Drax has this Shakespearean way in which he speaks and he’s this big broad character.
Yet, he’s also a very damaged and tender soul and he gets a lot of the funniest lines in the movie. And Dave’s able to do all of that and be a gigantic bald dude. It’s like, I can’t even see how it’s possible that we found him and how that happened. He went up against a lot of other actors and when he tested—Academy Award nominated actors and everything—and he got the role because he was the best actor. It’s been that way with everybody—with Chris, with Bradley, with Zoe. Karen Gillan is like—
We just saw her costume, that thing looks insane.
GUNN: She’s awesome looking, right? I know, yeah, yeah. I call her—she’s Clint Eastwood on screen, Hello Kitty off. Your little phones can’t pick this up but every scene is like, “You know, okay, I’m gonna kill you. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” “Cut!” [Imitates giggles]. Every time, it’s like I’m constantly laughing.
I know your brother is doing stand-in work as Rocket. Are you going to find another role in the film for him?
GUNN: Yeah, he’s another character. He’s sort of Michael Rooker’s sidekick in the movie. They’re very funny together.
I really want to know about Easter eggs and the fact that you have the Collector in the movie. This can be a film that can possibly set up other things in the Marvel universe. And there could be Cosmo solo films.
GUNN: Cosmo. It’s hard to get Cosmo to walk around across five steps and lick somebody’s face. I don’t know if I want to do a Cosmo solo film.
I am curious about Easter eggs and how much you were thinking about them.
GUNN: Oh, tons.
How much are you pitching Marvel, in terms of, “Hey, it’d be cool if we could do this.” And how much are you like, “Fuck it. We’re putting this in today.”
GUNN: Well, no. I actually have to clear everything with legal. We put in little things like graffiti on the walls and stuff like that. There’s a ton, a ton of characters from the comics in this movie, in little tiny roles. But we have to clear everything with legal because once I use their name then I’m screwed in that scene or whatever. We have just tons of reference to you know Marvel Cosmic throughout the movie. And I’m certain probably the most Marvel comics characters ever in one movie.
GUNN: Oh, without a doubt. I would imagine time four, really. If you think about The Avengers, there was a few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and then all of the Avengers and then be kinda done. With us, we have—almost every little character is named after somebody in the comics. Some of them are far stretches from what they were in the comics. But we try to keep those little things in there for the fans and they can go and they can look them up and see who they are in the Marvel wiki page and stuff like that. But there’s a lot of characters.
Who’s your favorite out of all of them?
GUNN: You mean, including Rocket?
GUNN: Oh, Rocket. Rocket’s my favorite. I love Rocket, but there’s just great little characters in the movie, and our supporting cast has been awesome.
You’re also introducing some really important alien races. You’re introducing the Kree, which is a big deal for Marvel comics fans.
And then some of the villains here were gonna be Badoon and got changed. Can you talk about introducing the Kree and why the Badoon got changed?
GUNN: Well, the Badoon got changed because we don’t own Badoon.
GUNN: Yeah, we don’t own it. There’s Sakaaran in the movie. I think that’s okay to say. There’s Sakaaran, I know it’s okay to say there’s Sakaaran. But yeah, we don’t own Badoon, so there’s Sakaaran. Fox owns—so they’ll probably make them in a great movie.
So, we do get to introduce the Kree. Was that anything that was any heavier on you at all?
GUNN: I don’t feel too heavy about that kind of stuff. And we don’t even like—we have plenty of Kree people in the movie. But the only thing we delve into is a little bit with Ronan’s back story, which he tells us a little about in one scene. We don’t go deeply into, “Hey this is who the Kree are and this is what they do,” and all that. They’re just a part of the overall galactic landscape.