Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s 2012 was very much defined by two films: Christopher Nolan’s final Batman flick, The Dark Knight Rises, and Rian Johnson’s twisty time travel tale, Looper. Now it looks like JGL might be combining his success with sci-fi and superheroes, but jumping from DC to the distinguished competition. Word is that Gordon-Levitt is now in the running to star in Marvel’s upcoming sci-fi superhero epic, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Deadline reports that Marvel Studios has added Gordon-Levitt’s name to the list of candidates to play the lead role of Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, in Guardians. He joins several other names bandied about for the role in recent weeks, including Cloud Atlas’ Jim Sturgess and Chuck star Zachary Levi. (Although Guardians director James Gunn has since dismissed those rumors, and it has been pointed out that Levi already has a role in another Marvel film, Thor: The Dark World.)
Gordon-Levitt seems like a much more likely possibility for the role. He’s a hot commodity right now, and given how obscure and odd the Guardians source material is — there’s a freaking space raccoon, for God’s sake — Marvel would be wise to bring in a bankable, popular name to help lure in audiences who have never even heard of the comic. With somebody like Gordon-Levitt on board, Guardians might have a real shot of becoming a new franchise for Marvel, and it also doesn’t hurt that Gordon-Levitt is easily one of the best actors in the game at the moment.
For those not well-versed in the lore of Guardians of the Galaxy — including me, and I’m a long-time comic fan — Star-Lord is a half-human/half-alien astronaut who becomes the leader of the team. He’s expected to be a viewpoint character for the audience, providing a more “normal” and relatable character to help ease mainstream viewers into the surreal world of the sci-fi superhero movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy is scheduled for release on August 1, 2014.