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This Key Guardians Of The Galaxy Cast Member Almost Didn't Get An Audition

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is a remarkable project in many ways. As the first film in the MCU to focus on characters without a mainstream superhero anchor like Captain America or Iron Man, the film, director James Gunn, and the movie's ensemble cast had a lot to prove. While the film became a massive success, things could have turned out quite differently, as one of the central figures in the film nearly didn't even get a chance to read for the role.

For many viewers, the premiere of "Guardians of the Galaxy" would be the first time they ever encountered heroes like Star-Lord, who had a long history in the Marvel comics universe, but a limited presence on other platforms. Beyond that, some of the best-known actors in the film, such as Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, only appeared in voice roles, with Cooper lending his talents to the CGI raccoon Rocket and Diesel speaking Groot's iconic phrase, "I am Groot."

However, Gunn entered the production process with strong convictions about who would be suitable for the film, and the director fought hard to get actors he wanted hired for "Guardians of the Galaxy," like Dave Bautista as Drax. Those decisions paid off, as the fan-favorite status of the film demonstrates. That said, there is one central Guardian who didn't factor into Gunn's original vision. Here is the key "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast member that almost didn't even get an audition.

Chris Pratt almost never got an audition to play Peter Quill

A recent tweet from @JamesGunn confirmed one of the worst kept secrets of the MCU, that Gunn nearly refused to see Chris Pratt audition for the role of Peter Quill in "Guardians of the Galaxy."

The tweet in question mentions that Sarah Finn, who has served as the MCU's primary casting director since production began on "Iron Man," was critical in convincing Gunn to take a look at Pratt for the part. That lines up with a story that Finn shared with Variety about which Marvel film was the most difficult to cast, which she identified as "Guardians of the Galaxy," due to the issues that arose in getting Pratt an audition.

Finn explained, "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. And then, I finally got him to audition, and James Gunn said he didn't want to see him."

Gunn and Pratt eventually saw reason, and Finn described it as "one of those eureka moments" when the actor finally started to read for the part. Finn remembered, "James turned to me within 10 seconds and said, 'He's the guy.'"

Pratt's hesitance over the role has been well documented. The star was worried that the movie would fail, possibly becoming Marvel's first bomb — but it thankfully exceeded those expectations, and many more, arguably launching Pratt into the upper echelons of action superstardom.