Can you imagine Chris Pratt not playing Peter Quill/Star-Lord? It almost happened, as Pratt initially didn’t want to audition for Guardians of the Galaxy, according to the primary casting director responsible for casting all of the Marvel films.
The Guardians director took some convincing
Sarah Finn, who has been the casting director responsible for the 22 Marvel films, is definitely great at her job. During the Avengers: Endgame premiere this week, Finn talked with Variety about one of the more challenging casting decisions that she was involved in.
“They’re all challenging in their own ways but I would probably go with Guardians of the Galaxy and Star-Lord,” she shared.
Finn explained that Pratt didn’t want to audition for Star-Lord initially, noting: “[Director] James Gunn has been very generous about this in saying that I, to the point of annoying him, kept insisting that Chris Pratt was the guy for the part. But Chris didn’t want to play the part and refused to audition.”
She added: “I finally got him to audition and James Gunn said he didn’t want to see him, and that was really a challenge.”
Pratt proved to be the perfect Star-Lord
All it took was Finn getting Pratt together with Gunn and the rest is history. She explained: “It was honestly one of those eureka moments that we talk about in casting when it absolutely feels right and you know it’s right. James turned to me within 10 seconds and said, ‘He’s the guy.’”
Finn knew that the actor was a good fit, she explained, because “We were reading a lot of actors, and many of them were incredible and had wonderful versions of the character, but I honestly kept hearing Chris in my head.”
Pratt was born to play Star-Lord and Finn noted that “It was great when he decided he was interested,” adding, “Now it’s legend, he’s the perfect person.”
In his defense, Finn said that the first Guardians was a hard sell for Pratt, sharing, “At the time we were embarking on a movie that had a raccoon and a talking tree, and a property that people weren’t familiar with.”
Why Robert Downey Jr. was perfect as Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. was, of course, the first of the Marvel universe characters that Finn cast in Iron Man in 2006. When asked “How did you know he was the guy?,” Finn responded, “It was a long and thoughtful process and really after talking, spending a lot of time with [director] Jon Favreau, [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige, understanding what the character was, it really became clear there was no one but Robert that could bring him to life.”’
Finn explained that at the time of casting Iron Man, Downey Jr. “wasn’t known as an action hero” but those involved were looking for “the best actor for the role.”
She also spoke about what an amazing journey it’s been, sharing, “We had no idea what this was going to become so it’s pretty overwhelming and amazing to be here [the premiere] tonight.”