Will 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Make Chris Pratt a Movie Star?

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The fantastic first trailer for Marvel's latest, The Guardians of the Galaxy, is out, prompting the question: is Chris Pratt primed for movie stardom? 

The trailer makes us very excited for the movie, which represents a branching out for Marvel, which has been churning out sequels to their Avengers lead-up properties as of late. Guardians is obviously an odd property, but the trailer smartly spells out who these guys are while showing that James Gunn's effort isn't taking itself too seriously. How could it be when "Hooked on a Feeling" is being used on the soundtrack? 

The release of the trailer also marks the start of  Chris Pratt's movie-star career. Pratt is not only starring as Star Lord here, but he'll then lead the Jurassic Park reboot headed to theaters in 2015. Both movies, it's worth noting, are not exactly riding on the caliber of their stars. Audiences will go to a Jurassic Park movie no matter who's in it, and, though Guardians is untested, Marvel has a habit of taking more obscure superheroes and turning them in to phenomenons. See: Iron Man. 

Aside from Robert Downey Jr.—who wasn't an obvious choice to play a superhero from the beginning, but still had name value—Marvel's other stars haven't exactly proven themselves as box office draws even as their superhero movies rake in the cash. Rush's weak box office can't entirely be blamed on Thor star Chris Hemsworth—it was, after all, a movie about Formula One—but it also showed that audiences weren't necessarily willing to follow his gorgeous blond locks anywhere. 

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Still, there's something far more interesting about Pratt than about Hemsworth or Chris Evans, who at first glance could be seemingly pulled out of a pail of hot guys. (Though Hemsworth did bring an unexpected spark to Thor, and is slowly proving that he's more than simply an Adonis.) Initially a charismatic cog in teen dramas like The O.C. and Everwood, Pratt is best known as the lovable dope Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation. And while he provides the voice of the main character in The Lego Movie and has had supporting turns in HerZero Dark Thirty, and Moneyball, he's not the first person you'd think of when someone says big-screen leading man. 

But Pratt's best quality—no matter the state of his abs—is his joyousness, something that's clearly on full display in the Guardians trailer. We should remember, we would watch this man simply recite the plots of action movies and be entertained. 


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.