Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 writer-director James Gunn is throwing his weight behind an Oscar push for Yondu actor Michael Rooker. A venerable actor whose career spans over three decades and more than 100 roles in film and television, Rooker finally started getting the notice he deserves beginning in 2010 by playing the ambiguous-turned-redemptive villain Merle Dixon in AMC’s smash zombie drama The Walking Dead.

And while Merle eventually met his demise in the series in 2013, his longtime friend and collaborator Gunn quickly scooped up the grizzled ...

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