March 29, 2012 at 02:49 PM EDT

Hugh Jackman as The Easter Bunny

“If Santa is a man of action, I knew the Easter Bunny needs to be somewhere between action and thought,” Joyce says. “He has a little more of a Spock thing going on. If Santa is Kirk, then Bunny is a little Spock. ‘Don’t just tear in there and start sword-fighting. Let’s think this through a little bit.'”

While Santa loves technology, Bunny is (naturally) more earthy. “He is a great warrior, but he’s a little aboriginal in a way.” He’s also irritated that Santa seems to get most of the attention from kids.

Like the other Guardians, Bunny has an insanely impressive backstory. As part of a race of super-rabbits known as Pookas, he literally helped save the world in its early days. “Earth was originally egg-shaped, but that was rotationally unstable, so we were heading toward the sun,” Joyce explains. “The planet was going to be cooked like a hard boiled egg, so against his aesthetic judgment, with his incredible digging ability, he rounded out the Earth into a rotationally more docile sphere. In doing so, he created a number of continents, among them his favorite, Australia. The joke is he’s from waaay down under.”

The Australian element wasn’t thrown in just for Jackman’s sake, though Joyce said it did make the actor more appealing for the role. “It became a sort of eureka moment. ‘But of course! He better want to do it…'”


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