Guardians 3 will be director James Gunn's final MCU installment before focusing all his efforts on his newly acquired DC Universe. His brother, Sean, is often more involved in Gunn's movies than expected.
Many know Sean Gunn as Yondu's right-hand man, Kraglin. Additionally, though, he's the stand-in actor for Rocket Raccoon, meaning he provides all of the movement for the character's motion capture.
As a result, there are numerous scenes in the Guardians franchise that are a combination of Sean Gunn both standing and crawling around because he is playing both Kraglin and Rocket Raccoon.
As he plans to leave that work behind him following Guardians 3, this may add another question mark to Rocket Raccoon's MCU future.
Gunn Done as Rocket after Guardian 3
Many fans know by now that Kraglin actor Sean Gunn also lends his talents as the stand-in actor for Rocket Raccoon's motion capture in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
While admitting to Empire Magazine that it's "a lot harder" to play Rocket now that he's older, he mentions the upcoming Guardians threequel will be his "swan song as Rocket," indicating he'll no longer be providing the motion capture work needed to bring the beloved Guardian to life.
Director James Gunn has previously played coy when discussing Rocket's possible death in Guardians 3, saying "that's not how stories work" when a fan suggested Rocket could be kept alive by simply being sent away to an unknown place.
The actor's most recent comments may not come as a total surprise at this point, as Rocket's death has already been a popular topic of discussion lately thanks to how the movie has been marketed.
For instance, the film's official plot explicitly states it will revolve around saving Rocket's life, and many fans believe the trailers and promotional posters for Vol. 3 heavily imply the movie itself will be Rocket Raccoon's MCU swan song.
Will Guardians 3 Bring the Death of Rocket?
Granted, Sean Gunn’s departure from the Rocket character is partially due to his brother ending his MCU run with Guardians 3. Even still, it would certainly be the most full-circle moment one could ask for if Rocket Raccoon went out by sacrificing his life to save the Guardians, just as his friend once did for him.
Throughout the Guardians franchise, Rocket has evolved from a selfish bounty hunter to a caring, compassionate companion and comrade. Sure, he may gripe and groan, but he's become more protective of his family than he is of himself.
Much of the promotional footage for the upcoming film implies that Rocket will have to face his past head-on, further leaning into the contrast that fans will see of Rocket before and after he became a Guardian of the Galaxy.
Whether he'll make it out alive is yet to be seen, but the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise may bring about a permanent goodbye for the members that make up the cosmic group of heroes.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will debut in theaters on May 5.