Michael Rooker has been cast in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Rooker, who played Merle in The Walking Dead, has signed on to play Yondu, Deadline report. Rooker’s casting is not a major surprise, considering Rooker and Guardians director James Gunn are good friends and have worked together before, on Slither and Super.
What is slightly more suprising, however, is the character that Rooker has signed on to play. Yondu was originally one of the founding members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, a group from the 31st century who consisted of various creatures and species who were the last of their race, formed to protect (or guard) the galaxy. Yondu is from Centauri-IV, and has a tribal sense to him, complete with bow and arrow. We already know that Marvel’s film focuses on the Guardians membership of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Racoon, so Yondu’s appearance would be surprising, and a big leap back into Marvel mythology.
Rooker joins Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista in the cast, and Zoe Saldana is rumoured to be in talks for the role of Gamora.
Guardians of the Galaxy has a scheduled release date of August 1 2014.