Why Michael Rooker's Yondu Needs His Own Disney+ Series

While Marvel's Avengers franchise is well-represented on the planned TV series from Disney+, the outer space corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- including properties like Captain Marvel, Thor, and Guardians of the Galaxy -- is so far not appearing in any significant way that we know of. Given the popularity and massive box office receipts of those movie series, that seems like a weird choice -- and we think that Michael Rooker's Yondu could be the perfect antidote. The character, who just got his own ongoing comic book series for the first time, has been a highlight of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, and it is not hard to imagine how a prequel series following his pre-GotG adventures could pay off.

In the comics, Yondu was part of an earlier group of Guardians of the Galaxy -- most of whom appeared as his former crew of Ravagers, headed up by Sylvester Stallone's Stakar Ogord, in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. Following his relationships with some of those characters seems like an obvious path for a potential Yondu show to take on. That is not the only relationship that could serve as story fodder: he has ties to Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who was a member of Yondu's Ravager crew before he found his way to Gamora and the rest of the Guardians.

Rooker's charm is undeniable; he has great comic timing (as seen not just in Guardians but in movies like Mallrats), an intense way of hitting dramatic notes (check out Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), and a personal gravity that makes him likable to large audiences even when the character he plays is objectively a terrible human (The Walking Dead). You could do a lot worse for the lead on your TV show, and with The Walking Dead, Rooker has proven that TV is something he is willing to do, and interested in.

The toughest thing about making this happen might be two things: bringing in the necessary guest stars (neither Stallone nor Chris Pratt is cheap, remember), and keeping the tone and feel of the Guardians movies intact. It seems unlikely that Rooker would take on the part if it did not feel of a piece with James Gunn's films, especially since the two are longtime friends and collaborators. And Gunn, already splitting his time between producing other people's movies, directing a major comic book property for Disney and another for Warner Bros. (The Suicide Squad) might be hard to pin down for something like this.

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That said, there is plenty of story, plenty of interesting characters and relationships to explore, and a lot of opporutnity to be had in giving Michael Rooker one more time out as the eccentric, cruel, and surprisingly sentimental head of the Ravagers. We hope we get to see it down the line.

Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.