Bradley Cooper is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, so it makes sense that he’d take part in its single biggest franchise: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But though Cooper is known for his movie star good looks, he surprisingly doesn’t have an on-camera role in the MCU.
There are fans of the actor and the MCU that believe he could — and should — take on an additional role in the MCU. So will that happen, and why exactly do they say that?
Bradley Cooper’s pre-MCU career
Prior to joining the MCU’s highly acclaimed cast, Cooper had about five years’ worth of A-list roles on his resume. According to IMDb, his real break came in 2009. Though he’d played bit parts in films for years, he became a breakout star in The Hangover alongside Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis.
Cooper racked up three consecutive Academy Award nominations for roles in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and American Sniper. He then directed his first film in 2018: the critically acclaimed A Star is Born starring himself and Lady Gaga.
Bradley Cooper’s performance as Rocket Raccoon
The Hangover films notwithstanding, Cooper was known for taking artistically relevant roles for great directors. Outside of a role in 2009’s The A-Team, he hadn’t done too many big-budget action films.
That changed in 2014 when he joined the MCU in the role of Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. Cooper provided a voiceover for the role.
The part showcases Cooper in a way he’s never been heard by movie fans before. Cooper certainly has a penchant for comedy, but his voice is almost unrecognizable in the role.
He approaches the part with a wiseguy-like charm and often gets some of the biggest laughs of the film. He also plays the role with great empathy as well — despite the character being a cartoon raccoon, the audience ends up sympathizing with and rooting for him in both films.
The role represented quite a departure for Cooper. He went from being a headlining actor to a bit player who doesn’t even appear onscreen in the film. The move paid off, of course.
The MCU — and particularly the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise — has been immensely popular. Cooper has portrayed Rocket in two Guardians films as well as in the films Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. He’ll also appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
How Bradley Cooper could easily take on an additional MCU role
MCU fans on Reddit speculated about the possibility of Cooper taking on another role in the MCU. They’re reasoning? Because he only uses his voice to portray Rocket, he could appear onscreen as another hero. It’s not a ridiculous assertion. Certainly, the MCU could benefit from Cooper’s star power, and he definitely has the acting chops needed to take on that type of role.
The question is if Cooper would be interested. MCU films can be quite a commitment. Actors often appear over multiple movies. The idea of appearing via voiceover is probably appealing to Cooper as he can record his performance in a fraction of the time it would take to actually appear in the film.
There’s also the question of who he’d play. A star of Cooper’s caliber would likely get a significant role, but who’s left among the major Marvel characters? It may be interesting to see him play one of the X-Men in a rebooted version of that franchise.
He could also get a role as a villain. Only time will tell if Cooper ends up onscreen in the MCU, but fans certainly wouldn’t object to him popping up in an additional role.