Bradley Cooper Controversially Returns to MCU, Prohibited From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

in Entertainment, Marvel

rocket raccoon guardians of the galaxy

Credit: Marvel Studios

It seems that one Marvel character has returned after walking away from the MCU, in a new way.

Chris Pratt in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

One of the most popular films to enter Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe is Guardians of the Galaxy. The group of these unlikely cosmic heroes not only provided the action that Marvel films like Iron-Man and Captain America had, but also, created a comedic space in the MCU, larger than we have ever seen before.

In 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy emerged as an American superhero film inspired by the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it took its place as the 10th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe under the direction of James Gunn.

Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a thrilling and expansive space odyssey that pushes the boundaries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmic realm. The story follows the bold adventurer Peter Quill, who becomes the target of an unrelenting bounty hunt after he absconds with a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a villain with ambitions that could wreak chaos in the universe.

To elude the relentless Ronan, Quill is compelled to strike an uneasy truce with a group of misfits, each with their unique traits. This eclectic ensemble comprises Rocket, a gun-slinging raccoon, Groot, a humanoid resembling a tree, the enigmatic and deadly Gamora, and the vengeance-fueled Drax the Destroyer. However, when Quill unveils the true potential and cosmic menace of the orb, he must rally his ragtag allies for a final, desperate confrontation, as the fate of the entire galaxy hangs in the balance.

The film featured their expert cast of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper.

The premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy took place on July 21, 2014. It was then released in theaters across the United States on August 1 as part of Phase Two within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The film garnered widespread critical praise and achieved substantial commercial success, with a worldwide box office earnings of $773.3 million, making it the third highest-grossing film of 2014. With the success came Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. 

Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, James Gunn, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillen on the set of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' (2023)
Credit: @JamesGunn, Twitter

The group have also appeared in other films outside their three franchise films:

  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Thor: Love And Thunder (2022)
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was James Gunn’s final film in the franchise and was set to be the end of the story for the original cast. In the final film we see an interesting turn of events where all of the characters end up quite happy.

In Marvel history, we tend to see a lot of death in final moments, especially of iconic characters leaving the franchise. Since the film was ending, and some suspected that Cooper would be leaving the franchise, and his character was the main focus of the third film, many thought he would die in a tragic ending — however, this was not the case. 

Peter Quill, portrayed by Chris Pratt, makes a significant return to Earth, the planet he had deliberately avoided since his childhood. In doing so, he entrusts the leadership of the Guardians to Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, who assembles a fresh team consisting of Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, and the reformed former antagonist, Adam Warlock, portrayed by Will Poulter.

Bradley Cooper/Sean Gunn as Rocket Racoon in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Meanwhile, Nebula, played by Karen Gillan, and Drax, portrayed by Dave Bautista, opt to remain and provide assistance to the settlers who have made their homes in the bustling space base known as Knowhere. Concurrently, Mantis, portrayed by Pom Klementieff, embarks on a solo journey to gain a deeper understanding of herself.

Related: Marvel Confirms Release of New ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Project

Gamora’s ending feels open-ended as she takes off with the Ravagers, leaving the love story between her and Peter unresolved; however, the gang’s ending does feel like it will carry on, but in a way that we no longer need to know about.

The Direct noted, “Marvel officially confirmed the post-Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 return of Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon.

rocket raccoon guardians of the galaxy
Credit: Marvel Studios

After taking the spotlight earlier this year in the Guardians threequel, many have questioned when Cooper’s space-faring trash panda would pop back up in the super-powered universe.”

Since the film’s conclusion, Cooper voiced the character in the second season of the Disney+ series I Am Groot, “appearing as an off-screen cameo in Episode 3.

The publication continued, “With no Guardians of the Galaxy 4 officially announced, it seems as though the next time fans will be able to check in on the lovable band of A-holes will be in one (if not both) of the upcoming Avengers films, The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.

That is, unless, Guardians 4 gets added to Marvel Studios’ Phases 5 or 6 plans or that Star-Lord movie that was seemingly teased at the end of Vol. 3 happens.”

But, it seems that fans will not have to wait too much longer to see Cooper return as Rocket, but this time, he is a little taller than we remembered.

Pop Crave (@PopCrave) shared a photo of “Bradley Cooper as Rocket for Halloween.”

While some were excited to see this mini return to the MCU as Rocket, others thought that Bradley was dressing as a “furry”, while others were not a fan, stating, “Nope, this looks bad like really really bad”, and “He looks a mess”.

Because Cooper’s character is in the ongoing Disney+ series, I am Groot, dressing as Rocket is actually going against the ongoing strike. Some fans even replied to the photo, taking notice of this, stating, “Ummmm the strike??”

Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Other actors, like Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega, have been publically criticized for breaking the costume ban set out by the SAG-AFTRA union. 

Mashable wrote, “SAG-AFTRA initially posted Halloween-related rules on Wednesday, Oct. 18, advising members to “choose costumes inspired by generalized characters and figures (ghost, zombie, spider, etc)” and not to “post photos of costumes inspired by struck content to social media.” However, characters from non-struck film and TV projects, like animated TV shows, are still allowed.”

Stars like Ryan Reynolds and Mandy Moore noted that the rule was ridiculous as it targeted the world, including kids.

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA said:

“SAG-AFTRA issued Halloween guidance in response to questions from content creators and members about how to support the strike during this festive season. This was meant to help them avoid promoting struck work, and it is the latest in a series of guidelines we have issued. It does not apply to anyone’s kids. We are on strike for important reasons, and have been for nearly 100 days. Our number one priority remains getting the studios back to the negotiating table so we can get a fair deal for our members, and finally put our industry back to work.”

So, with the rule targeting actors, Cooper was certainly affected, and therefore was a “scab”, as he did not stand in solidarity with those who are striking, according to the union’s rule.

Do you think that Bradley Cooper was in the wrong here? 







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