Rooker told Hypable in an exclusive interview, “I knew he wrote this role for me, and we both realized that, oh no, I’m doing The Walking Dead. There’s no way they’re going to release me for that amount of time, because they decided [Guardians] is going to have to be shot between this date and this date – a total, total conflict.”
With the role of Yondu requiring too much time for the actor, Gunn decided to offer Rooker the smaller role of Korath (now played by Djimon Hounsou), who has a part at the beginning of the story.
Then, Rooker received a call from The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara who told him that Merle Dixon was about to be killed off.“First thought, literally first thought, was ‘Wow. I don’t have to wear this arm thing any more ever again, thank god,’” the actor told us, referring to the bayonet covering his character’s severed arm. “Second thought was, ‘Hey Gunn, what’s going on man!’”