Things are about to get very quiet as far as Hollywood news goes, but one actor is probably making a joyful noise right about now. Variety reports that Zachary Levi is now in the running for the lead role in Marvel's space adventure Guardians of the Galaxy.
But don't get too excited quite yet, Chuck fans. Levi is contending with Cloud Atlas star Jim Sturgess for the part of Star-Lord, aka Peter Quill, a space pilot who ends up at the center of a universal conflict and becomes the leader of a pretty strange bunch of superheroes. Sturgess was recently mentioned on the shortlist for the part, along with names like Joel Edgerton (Warrior), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Lee Pace (Lincoln and The Hobbit), Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), James Marsden (X-Men) and Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom), but Marvel has reportedly narrowed their selection down to Levi, Sturgess, and an unnamed third actor who could be auditioning after the holidays.
Marvel must be extremely keen on Levi if they've brought him in to test for this part, because they've been eyeing him for roles in their films for a few years now. He was once slated to play the role of Fandral, one of the Warriors Three, in Thor, but the timing didn't work out and Joshua Dallas ended up taking the part. But for Thor: The Dark World, Levi has stepped in and will now play that role, so if he snags the part of Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, he'll be the first actor to play multiple roles in Marvel's Phase Two Universe. (Chris Evans played the Human Torch in Fantastic Four and Rise of the Silver Surfer, but with Josh Trank prepping a reboot and Evans moving on to play Captain America, that's kinda the only time it's happened so far. But those films were done by FOX anyway and in no way connected.)
Interesting stuff to consider. Unless you're a diehard Marvel fan, you probably don't know much about Guardians of the Galaxy, and I'm right there with you; still, I'm looking forward to what director James Gunn can do when he opens up the Marvel Universe to such a ridiculous extreme. Keep in mind this is just a casting update for right now (nothing is signed yet), and with that mystery actor possibly testing for the part after the holiday break, we'll be sure to keep you in the loop as soon as a final casting decision is made.