'Walking Dead's' Michael Rooker joins Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

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michael-rooker-guardians-of-the-galaxy-2013-gi.jpgMerle Dixon's days may be over on AMC's zombie hit "The Walking Dead," but Michael Rooker is moving on with a primo role in Marvel's upcoming sci-fi epic "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Rooker will play hunter and primitive tribesman Yondu opposite "Parks and Recreation's" Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in the big-budget film Marvel is pulling together for an August 1, 2014 release. "Guardians" is set in "The Avengers" universe but there's no word yet if any of that franchise's characters will make crossover appearances.

Rooker has a history with "Guardians" director James Gunn, having appeared in both of his previous features: 2006's sci-fi horror comedy "Slither" starring Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks and 2010's twisted superhero story "Super" starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page.

Rooker guest starred on the first season of "Walking Dead" as racist loudmouth Merle, and reprised the role as a regular for Season 3 but ultimately fell victim to his bad news boss The Governor (David Morrissey).
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images