Rooker's new look.

Merle’s new look.

Let’s get the official business out of the way.  The always-welcome Michael Rooker has been cast as Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy.  Yon-who?  He’s a mohawked alien empath who is an expert archer and was one of the founding members of the team.  Up until now the only Guardians confirmed as being in the film were Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon.  Adam Warlock and Quasar are conspicuously absent at the moment.  This announcement is the first indication that the film will be dealing with characters beyond the source material’s 2008 reboot.  Might we see others like Charlie-27 or Starhawk?  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Rooker is also the first of director James Gunn’s usual suspects to join the cast.  Will the ever-awesome Gregg Henry make the grade?  Most likely.  How about nerd-god and Gunn regular Nathan Fillion?  Schedule-permitting, it is entirely possible…though I wouldn’t expect him in a major role.  Unless he’s appearing as founding member Major Victory (aka Vance Astro) in a minor role.  See what I did there?  Rooker joins the already-cast Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), wreactor Dave Bautista (Drax), and the (all-but-official) Zoe Saldana (Gamora).  Pre-production is currently in full swing over yonder in the U.K. and the film, our fourth of Phase Two, is scheduled for an August 1, 2014 release.

Moving on to the rumor of the day, my trusted industry source tells me that Marvel is eyeballing someone that they already have a relationship with for the lead in a confirmed Phase Three projects:  Dr. Strange.  The name?  Actor/screenwriter Justin Theroux.  There’s no word on whether or not he is the only name being looked at for the part of Stephen Strange, but I am told that there is a strong interest over at the House of Lee in seeing Seamus O’Grady become the Sorcerer Supreme.  In fact, if it still holds true, it’s quite possible that Theroux himself is already at work on the script.  More as it develops…

Dr. Leezar...Sorcerer Supreme?

Dr. Leezar…Sorcerer Supreme?

Source | Deadline