James Gunn Taking Guardians of the Galaxy’s Raccoon Element Extremely Seriously

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Not an actual raccoon.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will prominently feature a firearm-wielding alien raccoon. Naturally, director James Gunn is taking this quite seriously. "I’ve done a lot of studying with real raccoons, and we had real raccoons come in," he says in a new interview. "We’ve done photography with them, I’ve played with raccoons, and fed raccoons, and dealt a lot with real raccoons to get some of the behavior down. Because it’s really, really important to me that Rocket Raccoon, 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."