James Gunn Initially Turned Down Chris Pratt for 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

The director called the 'Parks and Recreation' actor 'chubby' and couldn't see him as Star-Lord until he saw his audition.

AceShowbiz - Chris Pratt almost didn't make the cut in "Guardians of the Galaxy". During a visit to SiriusXM for a press tour to promote the latest Marvel movie, director James Gunn admitted he originally said "no way" to the "Parks and Recreation" actor.

"Somebody first suggested him to me, I thought, you got to be kidding me. This chubby guy from 'Parks and Rec'?" Gunn said. "There's no way I'm going to make that guy the star of my movie." But he added, "I knew within 20 seconds of his audition this is absolutely the guy. And the truth is, Chris Pratt is the biggest movie star in the world. It's just people don't know it yet."

Pratt previously auditioned for "Avatar" and "Star Trek" but got rejected. "They said they want somebody that has 'that thing,' that 'It factor,' " he told EW. "I walked into that room knowing that I did not have that thing, and I walked out thinking I would never have that thing."

Although eager to work with Marvel, he admitted he was hesitant when finally getting a call from the studio. "I was probably scared," he opened up. "And thought I was too fat to play a super hero. I didn't want another Captain Kirk or 'Avatar' moment."

"Marvel did not show me a script," Chris recalled to ABC. "They're like, 'Hi, we're Marvel.' And I was like, 'Hi, I'll do anything.' And they're like, 'Yeah, you will.' "

"Guardians" will arrive August 1 in the U.S., followed by a sequel on July 28, 2017. Chris plays Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana portrays Gamora, Dave Bautista is Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper voices Rocket Raccoon, and Vin Diesel lends his voice to Groot.

"I have a lot of ideas for stories and characters that are going to appear," Gunn said of the second film in a chat with Film Divider, "and there are documents written up, that some people have, about Peter Quill's father and his relationship, a lot of stuff about Yondu, and a lot of stuff about Drax that nobody knows."

"I wrote up a lot. [Kevin Feige] knows all the stuff, and if I died tomorrow they could go make a movie. They could write the story of Peter Quill's father and it would all be there. I think Yondu is a very important character, a really important character in this universe, and I think Nebula is really important too and so I think we'll see more of both of those characters."

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