Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
Marvel bosses organised a special screening of Guardians Of The Galaxy for the disabled man who co-created the character of Rocket Raccoon.
Comic book writer Bill Mantlo was involved in a hit-and-run accident in 1992, which left him with severe head trauma, and he has been in institutional care ever since.
Over the weekend (01-03Aug14), his creation of Rocket Raccoon came to life on the big screen as one of the principle characters in the hit film, voiced by Bradley Cooper. But since Mantlo is unable to visit a cinema to watch the latest instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, company bosses, including Marvel Attorney David Althoff and Marvel Vice President David Bogart arranged for a private viewing of the film for Mantlo from the comfort of his own home.
His brother and caregiver Michael Mantlo tells BleedingCool.com, "WHAT AN INCREDIBLE DAY FOR BILL MANTLO! Marvel hooked Bill up with a PRIVATE VIEWING of Guardians Of The Galaxy, and my wife Liz and my beloved cousin Jean assisted Bill throughout, enabling him to sit back, relax and relish in the AWESOMENESS of what is going to be, in my humble opinion, Marvel's GREATEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL FILM EVER!"
"Bill thoroughly enjoyed it, giving it his HIGHEST COMPLIMENT (the BIG THUMBS UP!), and when the credits rolled, his face was locked into the HUGEST SMILE I HAVE EVER SEEN HIM WEAR (along with one or two tears of joy)! This was the GREATEST DAY OF THE LAST 22 YEARS for me, our family, and most importantly, BILL MANTLO!"
He adds, "The gentlemen that made it possible for Bill to see his creation, ROCKET RACCOON, come alive in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel Attorney David Althoff and Marvel VP David Bogart. Giving Bill this opportunity was a daunting challenge (with all the legal & security protocols that needed to be breached), but these two FINE MEN made it happen, and Bill had the HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE! I will NEVER be able to thank them enough for all that they have done for Bill!"
Guardians of the Galaxy was not only a hit with Mantlo, but also with moviegoers around the world - the film raked in $160.4 million (£95 million) in the worldwide box office over the weekend.