After weeks of speculation, and a shortlist of actors that included John Krasinski, Jim Sturgess, Zachary Levi, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the role of Star-Lord has been given to someone who wasn't even discussed: Chris Pratt!
Pratt kills it as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, and has appeared in dramatic roles in such films as Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. As Disney/Marvel have said they were looking for someone who could bring some levity to the half-human half-alien character, Pratt is a perfect choice.
Pratt is the first actor to be cast, though both Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler have reportedly been talking to Marvel about voicing the character Rocket Raccoon. Other characters left to cast include Drax the Destroyer, Groot (a giant tree), and Gamora (the female lead).
Guardians of the Galaxy will be directed by James Gunn (Movie 43) and has a release date set for August 1, 2014. Stay tuned for more casting announcements as they come.