James Gunn studied raccoons for "Guardians of the Galaxy"

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Superheroes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must band together to protect the earth from an unexpected enemy in this 2012 action/sci-fi flick. Based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name. Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston and Scarlett Johansson also star.
April 25th, 2013

James Gunn has been studying real raccoons for 'Guardians of the Galaxy'.

The director has been paying close attention to the habits of the furry creatures to ensure the role of Rocket Raccoon - a talking, crime-fighting superhero - in the forthcoming Marvel comic book adaptation is realistic.

He said: ''I've done a lot of studying with real raccoons. I've had real raccoons come in, we've done photography with them, I've played with raccoons, fed raccoons and dealt a lot with real raccoons to get the behaviour down. It's really important to me that Rocket Raccoon is the heart of this movie.

''There's nothing else in the universe like him and he's been created by these guys to be a little mean ass fighting machine.''

The director insists he is seeking the ''perfect'' person for the diminutive role.

He added to BANG Showbiz: ''Within my scripts he is a very specific guy, so people are going to have to wait for a few weeks [to find out who will get the part]. A lot of people want to do it so we'll get the person who's perfect for the role.''

Whoever lands the part will star alongside Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer and Michael Rooker as Yondu.

'Guardians of the Galaxy' is due for release in August 2014.