James Gunn is the CEO of the DC Studios and has created some of the best superhero movies till date. He started with co-writing and directing Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy which was released in 2014 and went on to direct 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 2021’s The Suicide Squad and 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 among other movies and shows.

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most successful franchises of Marvel, and Rocket Raccoon is a genetically engineered raccoon that is an important part of the team that is addressed as Guardians of the Galaxy. The creator of this character is Bill Mantlo and Gunn directing Guardians of the Galaxy gave a very sick Mantlo the chance to a better life.

A scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
A scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

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James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a Boon to Bill Mantlo

Marvel reached new heights with James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy and in the process, it also helped Rocket Raccoon’s co-creator Bill Mantlo who had suffered a severe brain injury and had been living in the care of a nursing home since 1995. In a guest post on The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Mantlo’s brother Mike Mantlo addressed how Marvel helped his brother. He wrote:

“Marvel negotiated and agreed to a very nice compensation package for the rights to use Bill’s characters, and thanks to their acknowledging Bill’s contributions, he will now be able to leave the institution he’s lived in since 1995, and have in-home the care he needs for the rest of his life.”

Rocket Raccoon co-creator Bill Mantlo
Rocket Raccoon co-creator Bill Mantlo

Mike Mantlo stated that he has been Bill Mantlo’s guardian for more than two decades, and the amount of love and appreciation that the Rocket Raccoon co-creator has got in all these years is truly astounding. In fact, Bill Mantlo feels very proud and happy every time he receives letters and cards from his fans all over the world.

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James Gunn’s Tactic for the Creation of Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Raccoon in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Bill Mantlo’s Rocket Raccoon is voiced by Bradley Cooper in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The making of this character was rather interesting as James Gunn had an actual raccoon on the set during the film’s production. He said:

“In general, I enjoy working with kids and animals… We have a child in our film, Wyatt Oleff, who is one of the most naturally talented actors in the film – and this is a movie with Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro. I’ve never had a problem with kids. Animals on the other hand – I love them more than anything- but they are, in general, terrible actors. They usually do what they want.”

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The Rocket Raccoon seen in this franchise is an amalgamation of the voice actor Bradley Cooper, on-set actor James Gunn’s brother Sean Gunn, the movements and behavior of the real raccoon, and James Gunn’s own animations.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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