If you were to ask me, I’d tell you that Rocket Raccoon – the sarcastic anti-hero from James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy -- sounds nothing like Bradley Cooper. The Oscar nominee affects some type of off-key accent when voicing his lines for Guardians, so there’s no trace of the native Philadelphian accent that can be heard in films like American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook or The Hangover. However, Rocket Raccoon almost sounded very, very different… though he still would have had Philadelphia ties.
During a recent, and impromptu, Q-and-A event held on his Facebook page, James Gunn revealed that none other than Danny DeVito was one of the voices that they considered when looking for Rocket. But for obvious reasons, it didn’t work out. Gunn explained:
In all honesty, Danny DeVito is one of the voices we tried out. But Danny DeVito is an older man now, and Rocket is not an older man. He's a younger man. And Danny DeVito's voice just wouldn't work.
Ageism!! I’m kidding. In truth, I think that the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star might have been an inspired choice to lend that blue-collar, been-there-and-done-that attitude that Rocket Raccoon has. Rocket, obviously, is a uniquely visual character, and the CGI creation could be perceived any number of ways thanks to the sound attached to his voice and line readings. Bradley Cooper managed to inject some emotional pain into Rocket, which suggested the tough backstory that the character likely went through. Was he the best choice? It’s hard to say for sure, because you’d almost have to hear someone else’s voice to know if it would work or not. But Cooper certainly earned the right to continue developing the character in subsequent Guardians movies.
Danny DeVito’s no stranger to voice work. He lent his recognizable vocals to such projects as The Simpsons, Disney’s Hercules, Space Jam and The Lorax.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and the actor who once played The Penguin in a Batman movie wasn’t allowed to change horses midstream and join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Those who love the MCU, though, will want to listen to all of James Gunn’s Facebook conversation. It’s filled with fun Marvel details:
As for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it will be in theaters on May 5, 2017.