While GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY may be the weirdest, most oblique and obscure of Marvel Studios’ film slate to this point, it looks like it won’t lack for star power. We haven’t heard much about the project since it was announced that James Gunn (SUPER, SLITHER, SCOOBY DOO) was hired to write and direct the project, but now we have some casting news.
Apparently a whopping eight actors are in the running to play Peter Quill (or Star-Lord), the likely lead of the film and the squad of heroes. He will join a roster that includes Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Rocket Racoon, and Gamora as they protect the galaxy from villainy (probably Thanos).
So who do they have auditioning for the part?
There’s Joel Edgerton, a rising Australian actor who’s on the cusp of stardom and Oscar accolades, after bursting on the scene with WARRIOR and ANIMAL KINGDOM, and stars in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming ZERO DARK THIRTY.
There’s British actor Jack Huston, the masked one of BOARDWALK EMPIRE.
There’s the man who’s most familiar to playing superheroes and Marvel characters, James Marsden, who has delivered a fine career after portraying Cyclops in the X-MEN franchise. He’s subsequently starred in a bevy of roles that show his wide breadth of talent in comedy, dance, and action, from ALLY MCBEAL, THE NOTEBOOK, HAIRSPRAY, ENCHANTED, SUPERMAN RETURNS, 30 ROCK, and STRAW DOGS.
Sullivan Stapleton is probably the least well known to American audiences, but he shined in ANIMAL KINGDOM, stars in STRIKE BACK, and has been a veteran of Australian TV for years.
Add in Lee Pace, the star of Bryan Fuller’s short-lived and much-beloved PUSHING DAISIES, who’s also been sprouting up in franchises and Oscar fodder, with LINCOLN, TWILIGHT, and the upcoming HOBBIT on his resume.
Garrett Hedlund, the man seemingly up for almost every role in Hollywood that requires a young handsome man, is in the mix. He’s known for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (the movie), was in COUNTRY STRONG, and the lead in TRON: LEGACY.
There’s Eddie Redmayne, who may land the role of Harry Osborn as well and who fell in love with Michelle Williams’ Marilyn Monroe in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN.
Finally, and perhaps the most well known, Jim Sturgess, who’s been on the fast track to stardom since ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and 21, but has since stumbled (in my opinion) with CLOUD ATLAS and ONE DAY. Of course, he still has superstar talent.
Honestly, this shows how big of a player Marvel is in the industry. While Star-Lord may be the lead in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, he’s an unknown character to non-comicbook readers, and hell, even to comicbook fans too. I don’t think there’s a bad choice here (though there’s certainly a wide age range), and they’d all be fascinating. One thing’s for sure, it bodes well for the rest of the cast of this movie. The film is due August 1st, 2014, so stay tuned!