In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, writer/director James Gunn gave audiences a glimpse of the character’s past that could be explored more heavily later on. He even said as much over the weekend during Hasbro HASCON 2017 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Asked about Rocket’s origin and whether Half-World (where he comes from in the Marvel comics) will make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the filmmaker hinted that answers are coming. However, the backstory may differ from what comics readers know.
“As you know, the MCU is one way of processing these characters. 616 is a different one,” Gunn said. “We are going to learn more about where Rocket comes from in the coming sagas.”
He then dropped some clues as to what to expect going forward, stating, “It’s going to be a little different from the comics. We already know a lot about from where he came from. It’s a little bit more horrible than what it is in the comics when you come down to it. We will learn more about that.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may seem like the obvious place to learn about Rocket’s life, but could Gunn be hinting at another film filling in the gaps for us? The Guardians obviously play roles in Avengers: Infinity War and its still-untitled sequel.
Everyone’s favorite angry trash panda was introduced in 1976 by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen in Marvel Preview #7. Rocket Raccoon appeared only a relative handful of times in subsequent decades, only to rise to prominence in 2008 as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s comics reboot. According to his comic book origin, Rocket is the Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant, an area of space that includes Half-World, a colony for the mentally ill. Animals were mutated to sentience in order to care for and guard the inmates.
If Gunn is referring to Rocket’s origin being more horrible than what we already know, then it’s possible his story will be altered in the MCU. An origin that deals with mental illness and animal experimentation is pretty dark already, so we will have to see what Gunn has up his sleeve.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in the early stages of development for an expected 2020 release.