In 2014, Marvel Studios takes to the stars with "Guardians of the Galaxy," about a group of intergalactic warriors fighting to keep our world alive. It's not one of Marvel's more recognizable properties — indeed, some would call it an odd choice for the studio's next all-new franchise — but it's quickly becoming one of its most interesting.
Take, for example, the hunt to cast Star-Lord, the leader of the Guardians. We haven't seen a casting search this competitive since Chris Evans landed Steve Rogers after months and months and months of rumors, supposed screen-tests and almost-deals. Watching the process has been endlessly entertaining, but more than that, it's been exciting — namely because the actors being mentioned for Star-Lord are, for the most part, awesome.
The original list of rumored Star-Lord contenders includes the likes of "Boardwalk Empire" badass Jack Huston (aka the half-faced assassin Richard Harrow), "Cloud Atlas" badass Jim Sturgess (aka eagle-eyed resistance fighter Hae-Joo Chang), "Warrior" badass Joel Edgerton (aka the dude who beats the crap out of Tom Hardy) and more. Even James Marsden, the once and (potentially) future Cyclops, had his name mentioned in connection to the role.
A recent report put Sturgess and "Thor: The Dark World" actor Zachary Levi as the lead candidates for the role, but an even newer report suggests that the part could belong to none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt of "The Dark Knight Rises" fame — one of the hottest young actors currently working, already rumored for a Batman reprise in the upcoming "Justice League" movie.
Are we any closer to finding out who will actually play Star-Lord? It feels like it, but who's to say? As long as the casting search for Star-Lord remains this diverse and this interesting, we're happy to watch it all unfold — and that's why it's the process of finding Star-Lord, and not even the character himself just yet, that ranks as our first Hero of the Week of 2013.
Welcome to Hero of the Week, our weekly salute to the heroes keeping the comic book, movie and television scene something to look forward to day in and day out. From actual superheroes to the actors and filmmakers who bring them to life, you can tell us who your heroes are in the comments and on Twitter!