Rocket Raccoon’s stunning cinematic debut in Guardians Of The Galaxy this summer saw him instantly become one of the superhero genre’s most beloved characters. But, as it turns out, it almost never happened. According to Nicole Perlman, the co-writer of the huge summer smash-hit, Rocket wasn’t included in the film’s first draft, and it took some convincing to actually add him to the final version.
Perlman made the revelation during her appearance on John August and Craig Mazin’s Scriptnotes, an integral podcast that all bona-fide film aficionados should listen to. When discussing why the angriest raccoon to ever grace the galaxy wasn’t always such an integral member of Marvel’s script, Perlman declared, "There were versions that didn’t have Rocket, early on. There was a fear that Rocket … would come across as too cartoony. But it all worked out."
It’s now basically impossible to imagine Guardians without Rocket’s presence, but during production, the likes of James Gunn, Kevin Feige, and everyone else closely associated with the blockbuster made it clear that Rocket was the make or break element of the film. If he hadn’t have been designed, voiced or written in the right manner, then he could have easily ruined the group’s dynamic, which was an obvious factor to Guardians of the Galaxy’s ultimate success.
Luckily, not only did Bradley Cooper supply an aggressive, intense yet heartfelt voice to the character, but there was also a relatable, nuanced complexion to Rocket’s design too that made it impossible not to fall in love with the gun-totting critter. It also helped that he had Groot for company, as the monosyllabic tree’s innocence brought out the protective best in Rocket. In fact, let’s celebrate Rocket’s inclusion in Guardians Of The Galaxy with a brief look at one of his greatest scenes. You can’t help but love the fuzzy, little assassin.
In the past Perlman has also admitted that she needed to convince Marvel’s head-honcho, Feige, to include Rocket. In a promotional interview with Marvel.com for Peter Quill, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Rocket and Groot’s cinematic debut around the time of the film’s release, Perlman declared, "I’m so, so happy that Kevin Feige let me put Rocket in. Kevin was a big fan of Rocket, and I’m so glad because I really felt like that was necessary and that was needed."
Obviously this just proves how open and willing Feige and Marvel are to writer’s ideas about what’s best for the project. Other studios wouldn’t have even considered allowing a controversial character like Rocket to feature in such an expensive, blockbuster movie. Instead, his presence gave Guardians of the Galaxy its own personality, which helped to set it apart from the usual summer fare. And the fact that audiences lapped it up in their drove proves just how much they’d been crying out for someone like Rocket.