The cast of James Gunn’s upcoming Marvel movie, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, is really starting to shape up. Chris Pratt of ‘Parks and Recreation’ was the first to join as Star-Lord, the leader of the team, and then former WWE Champion Dave Bautista signed on a bit later to play Drax the Destroyer. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Zoe Saldana was in talks to join as Gamora, but nothing official has been released. However, today news broke that while one big name is in negotiations, another big name has signed on to enter the Marvel Universe.

According to Deadline, Michael Rooker has just been added to the intergalactic adventure as Yondu Udonta, a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team. Yondu is a hunter from the Zatoan tribe on Centauri IV, the first planet to be colonized by humans outside of their solar system. Along with Major Victory, Charlie-27, Starhawk, and other beings from across the galaxy, Yondu forms the Guardians of the Galaxy in order to defeat an alien race known as the Badoon who have caused great terror on every planet they land on.

Rooker has been in a number of films throughout his career like Kevin Smith’s ‘Mallrats’, ‘Cliffhanger’, and ‘The 6th Day’, but he’s best known for his role as Merle Dixon on AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’, where he went from one of the most hated characters in the show’s run to one of the most tragic deaths depicted in the series. He also worked with director Gunn in the past on the gritty superhero flick ‘Super’ starring Rainn Wilson, Kevin Bacon, Ellen Page, and Liv Tyler. Prior to this announcement, there had been rumors that the actor would be joining the Guardians, but no one could have guessed that he’d play a member of the original team rather than the modern team, who are the main focus of the film.

As obscure as the character is to most Marvel fans today, and even to long-time fans, it’s very cool that the studio is including a bit of history in their movies that seem to focus on the newer occurrences in the comics. Plus, Michael Rooker is a great talent to include in any cast, so it’ll be exciting to see him play Yondu in the film.

What do you think about Michael Rooker joining ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’? How big of a role do you think Yondu Udonta and the other founding Guardians will have in the movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ starring Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Michael Rooker is scheduled for release on August 1st, 2014.