While the Guardians of the Galaxy casting news and rumors have piled up of late, UK website Hey U Guys had the chance for an extended interview with director James Gunn at the UK premiere of Iron Man 3, and got some surprisingly straight talk from him.Gunn did officially confirm Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, the Star-Lord, but dodged any of the other rumored casting in a seeming confriming-without-confirming way. "Everybody knows Chris Pratt is in the movie, and I saw maybe 80 to 100 guys read for Peter Quill. I was very specific that I wanted it to be somebody really extraordinary," Gunn told HeyUGuys. "We saw a lot of very famous guys for the role, a lot of very well-known people, and very, very good actors. We saw a lot of good performances, but it wasn’t until Chris came in and he read and I was like, ‘oh my God’, this guy has his own, very particular, amazing take on the character that blew my mind, blew me away." He had similar positive things to say about Dave Bautista as Drax. While careful to say, "if he did get the role of Drax," Gunn went on to say "it just so happens that the guy was created in the cast of Drax when he was born, he look just like Drax." Gunn also dispelled the rumor that the role had been offered to anyone else. As for Zoe Saldana, Gunn gave a simple "maybe" with a smile, and hinted strongly that the speculation on Michael Rooker is correct saying, "I don't think it would be crazy to think he would be involved in Guardians in some way. Most interesting, perhaps, was Gunn's take on Rocket Raccoon. The director said he does have someone in mind, and that the role has been heavily debated. "there are a lot of people who have a lot of ideas of who is right for Rocket Racoon. Rocket Racoon has been slightly different over the years, in the comic books, and within my scripts he is a very, very specific guy, and I think people are going to have to wait for a few weeks before they see." Rocket Raccoon's
comic book styleHe also mentioned that people shouldn't take the early concept art for Rocket as the finished product, calling it "an early version." The director said in the finished film, Rocket will look much more like an actual raccoon. "He’s more of a grounded, real little creature as opposed to a cartoonish thing. I’ve done a lot of studying with real racoons, and we had real racoons come in. We’ve done photography with them, I’ve played with racoons, and fed racoons, and dealt a lot with real racoons to get some of the behaviour down," said Gunn. His reason for such meticulous study? "It’s really, really important to me that Rocket Racoon, 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. There’s no one else in the universe quite like him, he’s been created by these guys to be a mean-ass fighting machine." Aside from casting, Gunn did mention that the movie will fit in nicely with Avengers and the other Marvel Studios films, despite initial impressions. That doesn't mean people should hold their breath for Tony Stark to fly out in his new armor from the Guardians comic, however, with Gunn merely mention he hopes "at some point in time [the Guardians will] meet up with different characters throughout the galaxy."