Joseph Gordon-Levitt Could Lead ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated January 23rd, 2013 at 6:49 am,

Joseph Gordon Levitt John Blake TDKR Joseph Gordon Levitt Could Lead Guardians of the Galaxy

A month ago we reported that Marvel Studios and director James Gunn had begun the casting process for the riskiest project coming from the studio over the next two years. The first character, and likely the most important, that Marvel is looking to cast is Peter Quill (Star-Lord), leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Joel Edgerton, Jack Huston, Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace and Eddie Redmayne had reportedly signed test deals with Marvel and went in for auditions for the part, and now, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a contender as well.

In addition to the five above reported by Deadline (Lee Pace confirmed he did audition), names including Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy), James Marsden (X-Men trilogy), and Sullivan Stapleton (Gangster Squad) were mentioned as well, but it wasn’t clear if they were in talks for the same role or even if they were auditioning as well.

More recently, that list was narrowed down by Variety to include only Jim Sturgess of the original list, in addition to Zachary Levi (Chuck) who already has a role with the studio playing Fandral in Thor: The Dark World. They teased a third unannounced candidate would be revealed after the winter holiday. In response to that report however, James Gunn took to his Facebook page (before deleting via Geek Tyrant) and disputed the accuracy of Variety’s report:

“Almost everything in that Variety article on the Guardians of the Galaxy casting (and all the following articles based on it) was/is completely inaccurate. Just for the record.”

He later clarified to IGN:

“I didn’t deny (or confirm) specifics. I just said the majority of the Variety article was inaccurate.”

Strangely enough, the part about a new candidate coming after the holiday was true and this brings us to Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Deadline has the latest scoop which indicates that after a busy and very successful year with Premium Rush, Looper, Lincoln and of course, The Dark Knight Rises, JGL is a candidate for the role of Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy – where he could potentially wear a mask similar to his character in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Guardians of the Galaxy Star Lord 570x333 Joseph Gordon Levitt Could Lead Guardians of the Galaxy

If this report is accurate, it’s likely that Levitt is therefore not part of Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s plans for Batman going forward, where it was reported by HitFix that he could play the character of John Blake in Justice League, suiting up as Batman instead of Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne or a newly-cast version of him.

Would Marvel bringing Joseph Gordon-Levitt into their long-term plans of their franchise be a great steal from WB/DC and a smart casting choice to lead a team of otherworldly and unlikely heroes? Or does another name on the list sound more appealing? Expect more rumors and announcement soon, especially as Marvel and Gunn move on to casting the other members of the team and supporting cast.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Deadline, HitFix, IGNGeek Tyrant, James Gunn

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. I would love to see Lee Pace as Ant-Man, given Marvel’s tendency to bring in actors to screentest for one role and cast them for another.

  2. Levitt is a great actor but I can’t see him as Pete.

  3. A.) I don’t want to see a John Blake batman in justice league, I want to see the dynamic of Bruce Waynes batman in the JL.
    B.) YES! JGL would make an awesome star-lord and might sway more people into going to watch it.

  4. No, keep him away. JUst not a big fan of him

  5. Im down to watching him in a Marvel movie. that would be cool to see

  6. If they stole JGL I’d be a very happy camper. I think he can play most roles since he is very versatile, so I’m all for him playing Quill.

    • Same here man

  7. IMO, JGL is by far the best actor in contention for the role. It would be a great choice and a steal by Marvel.

    • @ezra

      A completely unknown would be better(example: Hugh Jackman in the X-Men) to start a brand new property.

      • @BJ

        If anything, they should get an accomplished actor who is quickly becoming a big box office draw for this “brand new property”. A big reason why casting an unknown in the lead for X-men was fine, was because X-men is a well-known comic series so it will already have some box office draw of its own. However, GOTG has got nothing, except the Marvel brand name.

        I suppose they could get an unknown and surround him with talent/box-office draws (Jackman surrounded by Ian Mckellen, Patrick Stewart, and even Halle Berry), (Hemsworth surrounded by Portman, Anthony Hopkins). But idk, I think I’d still prefer JGL.

  8. He is a pretty good box office draw, it would br a smart move. Levitt is very picky about his roles so the script would have to intrigue him and be good.

  9. he is an excellent actor and would love to see him in guardians

  10. I’d rather Marvel steals him for Star Lord than have him play Batman in JL. I’ve never been disappointed in his roles but I just can’t see him as Bruce.

    Also no Zach Levi for Star Lord either. We need him as Nathan Drake….

    • @ Van HE WOULD NOT BE PLAYING BRUCE!!! did you see TDKR?? HE would be the “robin” version of batman NOT the Bruce Wayne version! and I would just love for Marvel to get another ONE UP ON THEIR NON RIVAL DC, JGL should know that ANYTHING (in the CB world) that DC touches turns to MUD where On the other hand RIGHT NOW MARVEL IS GOLD! he Hopefully would NOT want to be known as the guy who played the NON Bruce Wayne BatMan and Rather would WANT to be known for as the guy that made STAR LORD HIS OWN character! (well as much as Marvel lets anyone make it their own)

      • @Slappy Holy hell calm down, I made one mistake no need to start yelling at me for it…

        My point is I dont see him as The Caped Crusader at all. At this point in his career I dont think he’ll be remembered as the guy who played Non Bruce Wayne Batman if he did star in JL. I dont think he’ll even be remembered as Blake/Robin from TDKR, he has alot more memorable roles than that especially (imo) in 3rd Rock, 50/50 and 500 Days.

        Marvel Studios hasnt made a mistake so far in their casting,so I dont expect them to start now. They know who they want…

  11. Honestly, I would kind of like to see Tom Welling as Star-Lord. Granted, he played Kent on Smallville, but I do think he’d do justice to Pete Quill.

  12. What the hell is a star lord?

    • Hahaha me and you both dude

  13. I don’t think its a good idea for JGL to be signed up with Marvel. It is a good opportunity, but some kids might mix up the DC and MARVEL universe. JGL should stay with the Dark Knight franchise.

    • But the Dark Knight franchise is over…:-|

  14. Sound like great news I like levitt a lot and I would love to see him in a Marvel movie that would be awesome. To be honest I’m not all that familiar with Gaurdians of the Galaxy but judging by the pictures and some descriptions I’ve read about the team I can tell that is by far the riskiest project Marvel has done so far maybe even bigger than avengers. They need to just be careful with what they do with it and I think getting an A-List cast is a good start and Levitt seems to fit the bill, this makes we want to see the movie and take it a lot more seriously now. Hopefully they are making the right choices and being careful.

  15. This would be an interesting choice. I can’t say I see it but, hey, I didn’t see Chris Evans as Cap when he was picked, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I could be okay with this.

  16. If they want a big name to play Pete, Ryan Gosling would be a better choice.

    • Yeah, but he has a conflict. He’s in that movie,…what’s it called? Oh yeah, EVERY MOVIE!

  17. Yes, but only if they use his Bruce Willis make-up from Looper, and make Star Lords costume look pretty much exactly like Batman’s. And a cameo from the cast of Third Rock is kind of a no-brainer.

  18. JGL is a really good actor. Witt that said, I would prefer to see him in the JL movie as Nightwing (yes I do know that the script in TDKR doesn’t fit the story). But it just fits!

  19. I have zero anticipation for this movie. It’s not that I’m against it, I just can’t muster any interest. I wish they would just announce a cast and put to rest any speculation. But knowing Marvel, they are gonna drag this out and shroud this in as much mystery as they can.

  20. This would be real interesting if marvel pulls this off.I would not mind seeing JGL in a marvel movie.

  21. I like JGL and would be totally happy if gets cast, but I’ve never read a Guardians book so I can’t comment on how he would fit the role.

  22. I would have a response if I knew anything about Guardians of the Galaxy

  23. Casting JGL as Star-Lord would be awesome. He’s definitely the best choice out of all the others rumored, IMO.

    • even tho JGL would be a good choice for the role but i think its not a good idea. i like to see DC and Marvel have their own personal actors for their movies. i remember when Superman Returns had actor james marsden in the movie first thing people said in the cinema why the hell Cyclops is in the movie lol.

      then again i dont want JGL as John Blake in JLA movie at all. Bruce Wayne is Batman and no one else.

      • That would also merge TDK trilogy with the Justice League universe, in which Nolan has stated, MULTIPLE TIMES, that his trilogy will and IS separate from anything else DC does from here on out, even when he was doing his rounds for The Dark Knight he stated so. I don’t see John Blake in the new Justice League film what so ever, it’s all rumor and speculation.

    • I agree with you, Avenger. He seems like the most obvious choice besides people praising and campaigning for Lee Pace.

  24. I would very much rather JGL play Star Lord than a non Bruce Wayne Batman.

  25. Sounds good. JGL does it all right? Good for him if he snags the role.

  26. I’d personally like to see Joel Edgerton as Star Lord, as I think he would fit the character better. I think Gordon-Levitt would be better suited as Adam Warlock.

  27. Hahahah it looks like not a lot of people even know about Guardians of the Galaxy…
    I have a feeling JGL will get this role and WB will cast someone new as Bruce Wayne. Armie Hammer?

  28. I hope Marvel takes him as Star Lord. I don’t JGL as Batman in Justice League. I prefer Bruce Wayne as Batman. Now i could see JGL as Dick Grayson/Robin in the next Batman reboot where he could later become Nightwing if WB/DC have their shared universe. But thats it.

  29. Yeah just like half the other comments stated I would care more if I knew more about guardians of the galaxy. I will do some research. I am a comic book movie nerd so I wonder how the average movie goer will feel about this one but that is something Marvel will have to dish out in either upcoming marvel movies and/or previews. JGL is a good choice for any role other than batman. Obviously Marvel see’s that he is the spark the DC badly needs and is trying to steal him. Either way JGL will be a good fit for DC’s Nightwing or ANY role in Marvel. Thats just a fact I really don’t like JGL at all but Nolan set him up in DKR to be currently Hollywoods Most Wanted Actor.