Michael Rooker goes from ‘The Walking Dead’ to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Michael Rooker may have been killed off on “The Walking Dead” this past season, but things are looking only bigger and better for the veteran genre star.  Today, reports indicate that Rooker has been cast as Yondu in James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  This isn’t a surprise to longtime fans of the outspoken actor as Rooker previously appeared in Gunn’s 2010 indie “Super” and 2006’s “Slither.”

If it’s possible for there to be a lesser known member of the Guardians it’s Yondu.  The character was introduced as a founding member of the Guardians in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 way back in Jan. 1969.  What’s puzzling is that Yondu, a hunter from the planet  Centauri IV, was part of the “future” Guardians who battled evil in the 30th Century.  As the history of the Guardians in the comic books gets incredibly convuluted when explaining how the team formed in present day, it’s safe to assume Yondu’s origin will change to fit a more streamlined approach.

Rooker is a longtime genre fan favorite who earned critical notices for his performance as Merle Dixon in “The Walking Dead.” His other credits include “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” “JFK,” “Tombstone,” “Mississippi Burning” and “The Bone Collector.”

Another TV veteran, Chris Pratt, has already been cast as Star Lord, leader of the Guardians.  Reports have indicated Zoe Saldana may play Gamora and Dave Bautista will portray Drax the Destroyer, but those casting decisions haven’t been confirmed by the production.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is currently scheduled to open nationwide on Aug. 1, 2014.