It’s a good week for Everwood alums. On the heels of the news that Emily VanCamp landed the female lead in Captain America 2, it’s been announced that Chris Pratt, who also got his break on Everwood, won the coveted role of Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy.
This is another completely out of nowhere casting announcement from Marvel and proof that Marvel can run a very, very tight ship when they want to. They saw A LOT of people for this role, and no one had a bead on Pratt, but it’s one of those “oh, of course” decisions. Pratt is funny (see also: Parks & Rec), and he proved he can do the action thing in Zero Dark Thirty. He defies my theory that repertory trained actors are on the rise (Pratt was, no joke, discovered waiting tables), but he fits the Chris Evans mold of “funny, physical guy”. There’s been a lot of internet-yelling about how schlubby he is right now (he gained a lot of weight for a role), but Pratt got lean to play baseball player Scott Hatteberg in Moneyball and he got ripped to play a SEAL in ZDT, so I have no doubt that by the time Guardians starts filming later this year, he’ll be in top fighting form.
Marvel is rolling the dice with Guardians—even more than they did with The Avengers—and Pratt will play one of the few characters that won’t be interpreted through motion capture. Other members of the team include a talking raccoon and a tree, so he’s literally the face of franchise. And even by Marvel standards—they have not been making the most serious superhero movies out there—Guardians is silly. Again, a talking raccoon. And a tree. Are superheroes. In space. It’s high concept to say the least. But Marvel is positioning it as a more kid friendly, comedic property, and Pratt has serious comedic chops. And this team, this is not the slick and cool Avengers. The Guardians are space-rejects, ex-cons and f*ck-ups who come together by accident. There’s a real chance to make a straight up comedy out of a superhero property, which seems to be Marvel’s goal. Who better to front it than Burt Macklin?
Attached - Chris Pratt at the Zero Dark Thirty premiere last month.