Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Raccoon that inspired 'Guardians of the Galaxy' character has died

Oreo, the real-life Rocket, died on Thursday at the age of 10

'Guardians Of The Galaxy's Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). Courtesy Marvel Studios
'Guardians Of The Galaxy's Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). Courtesy Marvel Studios

He inspired one of the Marvel cinema universe's most beloved characters but alas, Oreo the raccoon is no more.

The mammal, who was the model for Guardians of the Galaxy's Rocket, died on Thursday at the age of 10, the group that looked after the celebrity critter revealed.

"Our hearts are broken as we have lost our best friend, our Guardian of our Galaxy Mr Oreo Raccoon," animal refuge Quinta Layla posted on Facebook.

"Oreo passed away in the early hours of this morning after a very short illness. Many thanks to our wonderful vets for their compassion and care."

While Oreo provided the physical guide for Rocket, the character's voice was provided by Bradley Cooper in the 2014 film and its 2017 sequel. The fictional star also appeared in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War.

"Thank you for your awesomeness, Oreo," the official Guardians of the Galaxy Facebook account posted after the news broke.

The raccoon helped Marvel Studios map out the behaviour and motions for the character of Rocket, and even joined director James Gunn on the red carpet premiere of the first GotG film.

"You made so many people’s lives happy. You loved all people of all ages and other animals too, and were never phased by anything, be it a walk down the red carpet as Rocket Raccoon, a trip to a hospice to visit a sick child or anything else that came your way," Quinta Layla added.

"You just enjoyed everything and it showed. You instinctively knew when to calm, when to be bouncy and we never worried that you would do the wrong thing because you never did. You were perfect."

The future of the third Guardians of the Galaxy film currently hangs in the balance, after director Gunn was fired following the resurfacing of vulgar old tweets.

Lead star Chris Pratt told MTV this week that Gunn's original script will be used for the upcoming sequel, but Disney has yet to confirm the news.

Updated: February 9, 2019 03:34 PM