Michael Rooker, who was fantastic on his now-completed run on AMC’s The Walking Dead, has been cast as one of the four founding superheroes of Guardians Of The Galaxy, the Marvel Studios pic that James Gunn is helming. He will play Yondu, who in Marvel lore was a game hunter of a primitive tribe native to Centauri IV, the first planet system to be colonized outside of the Sun’s solar system. He eventually bands together with fellow fugitives to form the superhero team. Chris Pratt already has been cast, and Disney plans an August 1, 2014 release date. Rooker, whose film credits include Mississippi Burning, Days of Thunder, JFK, Tombstone and Jumper, is repped by Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: The derby to land the lead role of Starlord Peter Quill in Guardians Of The Galaxy has gotten even more interesting. Marvel Studios has added Joseph Gordon-Levitt to the list of actors they are considering for what is seen as its next major franchise launch.
Deadline reported that Marvel had made test deals with Zero Dark Thirty‘s Joel Edgerton, Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston, Cloud Atlas‘ Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace (who has roles in both Lincoln and The Hobbit), and Eddie Redmayne from Les Miserables. More recently, Zachary Levi was identified as a candidate.
I’m not sure if Gordon-Levitt has been offered the role and nobody would comment, but he’s in the mix. He is just coming out of the superhero movie The Dark Knight Rises, which left him in an intriguing position as Chris Nolan’s film trilogy concluded.
EXCLUSIVE: As Marvel Studios does each time it looks to land a lead for a superhero franchise, Kevin Feige’s hit-making studio has put together a short list for the lead in its next major project, Guardians Of The Galaxy. Marvel, after reportedly hiring James Gunn as director, has begun the effort to cast Peter Quill, the Guardians leader who is the offspring of a human mother and an alien father. I’m hearing that Marvel is making test deals with a small group of leading men. Here are the names: Zero Dark Thirty‘s Joel Edgerton, Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston, Cloud Atlas‘ Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace (who has roles in both Lincoln and The Hobbit), and Eddie Redmayne from Les Miserables.
I’ve confirmed all of them are in contention but can’t say definitively that this list is all-inclusive as I’ve also heard of interest from or in Garrett Hedlund, James Marsden (he already played Cyclops in X-Men, but then again Chris Evans played Fantastic Four‘s Human Torch before landing Captain America) and Edgerton’s Animal Kingdom co-star Sullivan Stapleton. We’ll stay tuned, but this certainly means that Marvel and Disney are serious about launching new superhero franchises.
2ND UPDATE 12:30 PM: Disney announced today that a ‘Marvel Untitled’ movie will be moved to August 1, 2014 after first being dated May 16, 2014. Now sources confirm to Deadline …