OFFICIAL: Bradley Cooper is ROCKET RACCOON in Guardians of the Galaxy

Rocket Racoon
Credit: Marvel Studios

Last week, we reported that Bradley Cooper was in negotiations to play Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, and today it's official. Announced on Marvel.com, the rambunctious alien raccoon with a love of big guns will be voiced by Cooper, who joins a cast with Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoë Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), and the still-technically-unofficially announced voice of Vin Diesel as Rocket's tree-pal Groot.

The Oscar-nominated actor is making his voice-acting debut in the film, with a character previously voiced by Billy West, Greg Ellis, and Steve Blum in animation and video games. The character itself will be CGI animation, based on extensive studies of real Raccoon movement and behavior by director James Gunn, who posted pictures of himself with raccoons on social media, and talked there about wanting to make it as realistic as possible - you know, until he puts on clothes and starts shooting people with a machine gun.

In leaked footage from Comic-Con and D23 Expo, Rocket Raccoon was seen for a brief two seconds shooting while snarling wildly in test footage - the leak became a tumblr sensation with an animated GIF used to express everything from excitement to joy to anger.

Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters in the USA on Earth August 1, 2014.

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