While watching James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, it's totally okay to occasionally forget that Rocket is a CGI character. I mean, who could blame you? His wit and personality are at least a little distracting, but, more importantly, he is beautifully digitally rendered and looks 100% real despite being an impossible creature. But what if Marvel Studios had decided to go a different route with their representation of the furry comic book character? What if they had decided to go in a more robotic direction? With that idea, I present you with the video you see above.
If I'm understanding the translation of the Japanese YouTube description properly, this robot was in part created by a man named Okuyama Tetsushi, and, as you can see, it's most impressive (and terrifying) feature is the fact that the face is full of expression and actually looks like it is talking while responding to a reporter's question. I sure most of you will agree with me that this is more than a little bit creepy, but, surprisingly enough, it also managed to freak out director James Gunn a bit.
Why do I find this strange? Because in addition to Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn is also the filmmaker responsible for the 2006 horror film Slither - which is easily one of the most grotesque features to come out in years. Everything about that movie is disguising, especially the horrific makeup job done on the great Michael Rooker:
On a more serious note, seeing this video does make a fan start to think: how far away are we from seeing robotics become an interesting alternative to CGI characters? Obviously both fields have made insanely massive steps forward over the last few years, and both are only going to improve in the coming years. It would be fascinating if filmmakers started taking a serious look into robotics at some point and seeing if there's potential within them for filmmaking. It would certainly be a big development in the robotics industry, and something that could propel it to even more advanced levels.
For now, though, we just have the awesome CGI Rocket, who you can still see in Guardians of the Galaxy in theaters everywhere.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.