Joseph Gordon-Levitt Enters the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Casting Race

Will Joseph Gordon-Levitt have to choose his superhero destiny?

We’ve heard a lot of rumors over the last month or so about casting the lead in Marvel’s upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Names mentioned for the key role of Peter Quill/Star-Lord include Joel Edgerton, Jack Huston, Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace, and Eddie Redmayne. The last thing we heard was that Zachary Levi, who just played a supporting role in Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” was the frontrunner, but that others like Sullivan Stapleton, Garrett Hedlund, and James Marsden haven’t been ruled out.

The latest name, though, is probably the biggest one yet (with all apologies to the recently hot Eddie Redmayne)–Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The actor has been working in Hollywood since he was a kid, alternating between well-respected indies and blockbusters, including most recently “The Dark Knight Rises.” He’s certainly a viable name for the role, though a little more offbeat than the very leading man types they’ve been seeing–and that’s a pretty wide range they have on that list: the mature, tough guy Edgerton, dangerous younger guy Huston, slightly dashing Brits Sturgess and Pace, the boyishly sincere Redmayne, with the accomplished comic Levi thrown in to really confuse things). On that spectrum, Gordon-Levitt probably lies somewhere between Redmayne and Levi.

The Playlist  has a good explanation of the character and franchise:

The character is Peter Quill, who crash lands on Earth as a baby and is raised by humans. He eventually works at NASA and gets sent to a space station, where he encounters Master Of The Sun, who names him the next Star-Lord. Fast-forward a bit and he’s part of the Guardians Of The Galaxy, who team up with The Avengers to fight Thanos.

There are some serious complications, though. Mild spoiler alert, but the end of “The Dark Knight Rises” hinted (some would say screamed) at the idea that if there was anyway the Nolanverse Batman continued, Gordon-Levitt would be involved. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers, the studio behind Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, is also trying to get “Justice League” up and running, and there are persistent rumors that Gordon-Levitt is supposed to play Batman in that movie (his people deny it vehemently). Neither Marvel or Warner Brothers wants someone crossing back and forth between their franchises, so if there’s any truth to either Batman story and if he’s offered the “Guardians” role, Gordon-Levitt would probably have to make a choice.

Hopefully we’ll get something definitive soon on this role, or at least weed out the not so serious contenders and pure rumors. Meanwhile, Gordon-Levitt is busy with his directorial debut, “Don Jon’s Addiction,” which will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Gordon-Levitt also wrote the film and stars along with Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is set to be released on August 1, 2014. You get the impression that Marvel isn’t even dealing with casting other roles until this one is set.

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