Marvel Studios’ best kept secret is the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. While the cosmic team of superheroes is not yet well known among general audiences, if the film is successful, this means Marvel can sell an audience on any one of their other characters and titles. One reason why Guardians might be a sleeper hit of the summer is the all-star cast, headed by the charismatic and lovable Chris Pratt, who plays leader Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, in the new movie.
In an interview with MTV, Pratt opened up about the audition process for Guardians. While he was selected from more than 25 male actors in their late 20s and early 30s, the LEGO Movie star wasn’t sure if he nailed down the role because of his weight. At the time, Pratt weighed upwards of 280 pounds, and knew he had to slim down if he got the role. He recalled:
I was like, ‘No way. That’s a bad idea.’ I was circling around it for a long time, and they kept testing people and testing people, and no one was right for it. I went in and met the director, James Gunn, and something happened in that room,” continued Chris Pratt. “He gave me a sense of what he wanted. I, of course, wasn’t able to read a script until essentially after signing up to do the movie. I could tell from what he wanted that it was something I close to what I could give,” he said. “It started just becoming real. Then it did. I had a screen test for it. Even during the screen test, I was like, ‘Oh, I got this. This is mine. This is mine now.’ I knew going in.
According to director James Gunn, Pratt has the potential to be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood because of his on-screen presence and infectious charisma. In fact, he is getting more and more leading roles in Hollywood movies such as the aforementioned LEGO Movies, which is in theaters now, and the forthcoming Jurassic World, which opens next year in June 2015.
When asked if the cosmic team will have some sort of unifying look, or if they’ll be doing their own thing, Pratt responded with how the movie will play with tone. He continued to say that some superhero movies take themselves too seriously, rather than playing up the fun and exciting aspects of the source material. From how it sounds, Guardians has a good chance of being one of the most fun Marvel movies yet. Pratt continued:
We do have a pretty fun moment like the team’s coming together… it’s the shot… where the team is walking in slow motion and the good music’s playing. We have that moment, but this is a little different than other comic book movies because we’re not superheroes necessarily. It’s like an epic space opera type of movie. It’s not like there’s an origin where I can shoot sharks out of my eyes, or have some type of special thing; it’s not like that. We’re kind of misfits and our strength is that we work as a team.
It certainly sounds exciting, and considering that Guardians will be the space counterpart to The Avengers, it’s likely that the new movie has a chance to be as much fun as Joss Whedon’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If the film catches on with audiences with good word-of-mouth, then Marvel will likely have another successful franchise on their hands.
Recently, there are rumors that the studio is already planning a Guardians that could hit theaters in May 2016. According to HitFix’s Drew McWeeny’s set visit of the cosmic movie, “It’s a space opera, a big comic adventure movie with some real sadness and some real anger,” writes McWeeny. “And it introduces some very complicated mythology that starts to fill out threads [Marvel] has already introduced in other films.” From the description it sounds like the “threads” might be the Infinity Gems, which have already been introduced throughout the Phase One movies.
As for the movie, it follows Quill, a half-human, half-alien former astronaut. He finds himself in the middle of a galaxy-wide manhunt after he steals a mysterious orb, believed to be the Mind Infinity Gem. In order to escape, he is forced into an uneasy alliance with a group of cosmic misfits and outlaws. When he learns of the orb’s true power, he must rally his new team to save the galaxy from a mysterious new threat, the Kree Empire and Ronan the Accuser.
Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Benicio del Toro, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Olivia Lovibond, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close. The film opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st.