Sometimes when Hollywood closes a door, it opens a window. Just ask Zachary Levi, who lost out on what would have been a career-making role in Guardians of the Galaxy only to eventually land the titular role in DC’s Shazam! Though it all went down years ago, he’s now opening up about how his failed audition for James Gunn still led him to the opportunity of a lifetime.
In 2012, industry sources were reporting that the role of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Star Lord was down to two actors: Zachary Levi and Jim Sturgess. Obviously, it didn’t go to either of them — though the rumors about Levi were true. He told The Playlist how he ended up being on the shortlist to play Peter Quill, and how it ended up going to someone else:
Chris Pratt’s hesitation to sign on for the cosmic Marvel movie is understandable in retrospect. Though since then, he’s become one of the most famous actors working today. And his decision to take the role ended up leading to a domino effect not only in his life, but in Zachary Levi’s too:
James Gunn’s decision to recommend Zachary Levi for the DC flick turned out to be wise. The film went on to be a big success, and its sequel is well on its way to being completed. If anything, this situation is a reminder that hard work and good networking can lead to amazing results, even if they don’t come when you expect them. Fans can see more of Levi as the Big Red Cheese when Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theaters in June 2023.
If you haven’t already, you can check out the original 2019 movie on HBO Max now. You can also see Chris Pratt’s performance in the role of Star-Lord by streaming the Guardians of the Galaxy films on Disney+.