Jim Sturgess and Zachary Levi are the last actors standing for Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” According to Variety, Sturgess and Levi have moved ahead of Eddie Redmanye, Joel Edgerton, Jack Huston and Lee Pace in the quest to play Peter Quill, a half-human, half-alien astronaut who leads the ragtag group of Guardians. James Gunn will direct the film.
Sturgess has made a name for himself in romances like “One Day,” “Across the Universe” and the epic fall release “Cloud Atlas.” Levi, however, is almost more interesting because of his prior connections to Marvel. The 32-year-old star — who rose to fame playing the title character on the cult NBC series “Chuck” — was initially cast in “Thor” as Fandral, but had to drop out because of scheduling conflicts with “Chuck.” He was replaced by Josh Dallas, who subsequently had to drop out of “Thor: The Dark World” because of scheduling conflicts with the television series “Once Upon a Time.” Dallas was replaced by Levi, the original choice to play Fandral, in the sequel. (If Levi earns the role of Peter Quill in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” perhaps Dallas could return again to play Fandral in a third “Thor” film.)
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is part of Marvel’s Phase Two. The film was teased briefly at the end of “Marvel’s The Avengers” when Thanos, a Marvel villain, was shown in a post-credits scene. Thanos will appear in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is set to arrive in theaters in August of 2014.
Gunn was hired to direct the film, but got himself into some hot water when a sexist and homophobic blog that he wrote a couple of years ago resurfaced. Gunn apologized for the missive and remains attached to the film as writer and director.
For more on “Guardians of the Galaxy,” head over to Variety. (The site is down at the moment.)