For most audiences, Chris Pratt is synonymous with Star-Lord, but the young actor almost landed the role of Superman over a decade ago. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 just a few days away from its Stateside release, Marvel has been keen to heavily market their first film of 2017. It may not be necessary, however, as the film is already on track to be a huge hit. It opened internationally this past weekend to well over $100 million, and its tracking domestically for a bigger opening than 2015’s massive Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Still, we’ve seen no shortage of TV spots and clips from the film, in an effort to prime the largest audience possible for what’s shaping up to be one of Disney’s biggest franchises. Along with looks at the film, the stars of the movie have been opening up about the present and future of the franchise. Vin Diesel wants a Groot spinoff, Gamora will have a significant presence in Guardians 3, and Mantis and Nebula won’t be leaving the MCU anytime soon. Chris Pratt, meanwhile, is looking towards the past.
Last night, the actor appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the new movie, and talk quickly moved to another superhero he almost played. While discussing Pratt’s time working on the Strangers with Candy movie, Colbert recalled Pratt’s audition for Superman Returns. Releasing in 2006, the year after Strangers, Pratt jokes that the casting director of the film didn’t have as much faith in him as a potential Superman as Colbert did. And while it’s easy to see Pratt as a comic book character these days, he didn’t quite have the look of the Man of Steel back then.
Though playing Superman would have been a big deal, things have arguably worked out better for Pratt. Superman will always be more iconic than Star-Lord, but Pratt has become synonymous with his character. Meanwhile, it’s hard for any one person to overshadow the iconography of Superman. And while Superman Returns has grown a dedicated fanbase over the years, it hardly did Brandon Routh any favors upon its opening. Pratt, meanwhile, has leveraged his Guardians success into one of Hollywood’s biggest success stories.
The rest of the interview highlights some of the hilarious international names for Guardians of the Galaxy, touches on Pratt’s poor mixtape making skills, and reveals how unimpressed his son is that he’s Star-Lord—and how he prefers Spider-Man. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s marketing still in full-swing, expect plenty of other interviews like this to follow.