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Chris Pratt Nabs Lead in ‘Guardians of Galaxy’

"Parks & Recreation" actor Chris Pratt will star in Marvel Studio's "Guardians of the Galaxy"

Chris Pratt has scored one of the lead roles in Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Getty ImagesThe "Parks & Recreation" actor is in talks to play Star-Lord, the leader of a group of intergalactic heroes, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap. Marvel and parent company Disney hope that "Guardians" can be a comic book franchise to rival the $1.5 billion grossing "The Avengers."

James Gunn ("Slither") is directing the film, which is scheduled to be released on Aug. 1, 2014. In addition to heading the team, Star-Lord is a master strategist who wears a suit that give him superhuman strength. Together with a team that includes a raccoon, who is an expert marksman, and an oversized bramble who controls trees, the Guardians teleport around the cosmos preventing disasters.

The role might might have seemed a stretch for Pratt, who was best known for his work on as a doughy shoeshine stand operator on NBC's "Parks & Recreation," but the actor has made a point of showing off his dramatic skills in films like "Moneyball" (2011).

He also showed he has the ability to bulk up, transforming himself physically to play a Navy SEAL in "Zero Dark Thirty" last year. While making the promotional rounds for the film, Pratt shared a photo of himself in underwear that highlighted his newly toned body and, in retrospect, could have served as an audition shot for the team at Marvel.

Pratt is represented by CAA.

Deadline first reported news of his casting.

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