(CBR) "Guardians of the Galaxy" rocketed into Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend, even if the actual Rocket Raccoon was nowhere in sight. But that won’t be the case for long, according to director James Gunn.

He tells Crave Online to expect a casting announcement regarding Rocket and his tree-sized pal Groot very, very soon. “Tomorrow, next week-ish,” is his estimate, an answer given after receiving the nod of approval from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Gunn’s affection for Rocket is well-documented, and he further spoke about his plans for the gun-toting raccoon during a Comic-Con interview with MTV.

“It’s not about creating Bugs Bunny in the middle of 'The Avengers,'" he said. “This is about creating a character that’s a little animal that was taken and experimented on and pulled apart and put back together again and implanted with cybernetics and he’s half-machine and half-raccoon. And he’s a gnarled, miserable, pretty-angry creature because there’s nothing else like him. And that’s not easy to be.”

Beyond Rocket and Groot, Gunn confirmed the appearance of yet another Marvel icon in "Guardians": Thanos. The Mad Titan is very much a part of his movie, according to the filmmaker, even if a casting announcement might not be imminent.

“Thanos is the thing connecting us to the rest of the Marvel Universe at this point,” he told Crave. “And in the future we’ll see what happens after this, but for right now, we’re connected to the rest of the Marvel Universe because we’re resetting to the end of 'The Avengers.'"

Opening Aug. 1, 2014, "Guardians of the Galaxy" stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord; Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer; Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser; Michael Rooker as Yondu; Karen Gillan as Nebula; Djimon Hounsou as Korath; Benicio del Toro as The Collector; John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey; and Glenn Close as Nova Prime.

Copyright © 2014 Comic Book Resources. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.