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Chris Pratt Nearing Deal to Star in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

James Gunn is directing the sci-fi movie project, which is part of Marvel's Phase Two line of films.

Chris Pratt
Kevin Parry for PaleyFest
Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt is in negotiations to star in Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s sci-fi adventure movie being directed by James Gunn, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The movie centers on Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone want, according to the plot description.

And while there have been several incarnations of the Guardians team in the comics since their debut in 1969, the movie’s lineup also will include Drax the Destroyer, a human resurrected as a green warrior with the sole purpose of killing Thanos (the villain in the final-scene tease of The Avengers); Groot, a giant tree-man; Rocket Raccoon, a genetically engineered animal with a knack for guns and explosives; and Gamora, the last survivor of her species who was saved by Thanos to be his assassin but now battles him.

Pratt will play Quill, the human face of the pic, as long as deal can be worked out that can accommodate his dates for NBC's comedy Parks and Recreation. Sources say the negotiations are in the latter stages.

Marvel has been on the lookout for the movie's lead since late last year. Joseph Gordon-Levitt had the offer at one point, while Jim Sturgess, Zachary Levi, John Krasinski, and Michael Rosenbaum are among those also met and/or tested.

The next character that seems to be narrowing down its list is that of Drax the Destroyer. WWE performer-athlete Dave Bautista, Isaiah Mustafa (best known as “the Old Spice Guy”) and Brian Patrick Wade have been said to be in talks.

The movie is slated for release Aug. 1, 2014.

Pratt showed he is more than just a funny guy with appearances in Zero Dark Thirty and Moneyball.