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Guardians of the Galaxy Eyes Zachary Levi and Jim Sturgess

Zachary Levi could end up pulling double-duty in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Variety reports the Chuck star, who already plays Fandral in Thor: The Dark World, is on the shortlist with Cloud Atlas actor Jim Sturgess to portray team leader Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel is said to have made test deals several weeks ago with five actors — Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace, Eddie Redmayne and Joel Edgerton were among them — but only Sturgess remains from that pool. Levi, who has apparently impressed the studio with his performance in the Thor sequel, is a more recent addition.

Created by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, Peter Quill was introduced in 1976’s Marvel Preview #4 as the child of a human mother and an alien father who grows up as an orphan to become a NASA astronaut and then to assume the mantle of the interplanetary police officer Star-Lord. He eventually recruited the likes of Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and Rocket Raccoon to form a new version of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Levi’s history with Marvel dates back to 2010, when he was in talks to play Fandral, the egotistical swordsman, in Thor. However, the actor had to drop out when NBC gave a last-minute renewal to Chuck, and Josh Dallas stepped in to replace him. Two years later, Dallas’ commitment to ABC’s Once Upon a Time prevented him from reprising his role in The Dark World, leading Marvel to once again turn to Levi.

Although Chris Evans famously portrayed the Human Torch in Fox’s two Fantastic Four movies before being cast as Captain America, it would be an usual step (to say the least) for an actor to play two different roles in two different Marvel films. But perhaps executives believe the physical appearances of the characters, the supporting status of Fandral in Thor, and the distinctly different tones of the films — Guardians of the Galaxy is expected to be more lighthearted — make the use of the same actor a non-issue.

Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy opens Aug. 1, 2014.


  • Chris Katrev

    Lee Pace….

  • Lewis4510

    Levi getting the role is unlikely. But the fact that there even considering this means the others on the casting list pretty much sucked at the auditions, wanted too much money, or balked at multiple picture commitments.

  • Richard Casey

    He said without the slightest clue what he was talking about. Levi as Star Lord would be all kinds of awesome, not only because I’m a fan of him and his work, but I think he’d be a good fit. The casting of him as two characters in the same universe wouldn’t really be an issue, especially when you take into account the fact that Fandral has a lot of hair and aesthetic differences as well as the way he talks, that would separate him from the more “down to earth”/everyman role that Levi would perform as Quill.  

  • Rwcastromiller30

     Lee Pace would be so much better as Star Lord than any of these other guys.  Levi will be great as Fandrall, But, we shouldn’t have one actor playing two Marvel roles when you can have a great actor in each role.  Lee Pace as Peter Quill!

  • Hatman

    2 different roles in 2 different Marvel films? Unusual? Urm, it’s not even unusual in the Warriors Three. Ray Stevenson played Volstagg & the Punisher.

  • Rollo Tomassi

    It frees up Lee Pace to play Namor. Start your petitioning!!

  • Xcapeclaws

    Why is Levi getting the role unlikely? The very fact that he’s apparently among the final two candidates would seem to be an indication that he has at least a 50/50 shot at getting it. And the fact that he plays Fandral wouldn’t be an issue since (A) it’s unlikely the two characters would ever cross paths onscreen and (B) the bright blond hair and ridiculous mustache that Fandral sports make for an effective disguise (I’m a regular viewer of Once Upon A Time but it wasn’t until halfway through season one that I realized Prince Charming was the same guy who played Fandral).

    And if the two characters ever do encounter each other on screen, maybe they can just give the Fandral role back to Josh Dallas. 

  • syvyn11

    I like Levi for it.   Chuck proved Levi can do action and Star-Lord has a bit of physical comedy about it.

  • HED

    Those are different universes, though.

  • HED

    I’d dig Jim Sturgess.

  • Nik

    God, not Chuck…………………………

  • Joe

    Well, since I had double billing of actors as characters it’s going to have to be Sturgess, I guess…although Levi would have made an infinitely better Quill….These guys do have an excellent point about Lee Pace though.

  • Toneloak

    I hope the GoG is as such as I remember it best i.e. Keith Griffen’s Star-Lord mini ; a group of battle broken warriors (men & women) willing to give it their all on a suicide mission. They did it because sure it was the right thing and all, but maybe all the pain and survivor’s guilt of WAR broke ‘em. Because war always ask for more then you have to give. I know that’s deep but Griffen worked it as a light hearted tale thanks the wimsical & fearless art of Timothy Green II whom I hope they consult with for the designs of all that space tech and armor. I just don’t want them to lose the heart of what makes the Guardians resonate with us readers.

  • pDUB

    im pretty sure that Punisher: War Zone was a Marvel studios film, the other Punisher with Tom Jane was definitely not

  • akachris

    “Although Chris Evans famously portrayed the Human Torch in Fox’s two
    Fantastic Four movies before being cast as Captain America, it would be
    an usual step (to say the least) for an actor to play two different
    roles in two different Marvel films.”

    Ray Stevenson = Volstagg and The Punisher [as someone else previously noted]
    Sam Elliott = Caretaker [in the 1st Ghost Rider film] and General Ross [in the 1st Hulk film]
    Idris Elba = Heimdall and Moreau [in the 2nd Ghost Rider film]
    Will Yun Lee = Kirigi [in the Elektra film] and Silver Samurai in the upcoming Wolverine film

    It’s not that uncommon.

  • Kevin Melrose

    I’ll give you Punisher: War Zone (though it’s hardly a Marvel Cinematic Universe film). However, Ghost Rider, Hulk, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Elektra aren’t Marvel films.

  • Joshua

    I hope it doesn’t go to Jim Sturgess. I’m hoping his career recovers from Cloud Atlas and this CGI turd of a movie won’t help.