Marvel Studios’ summer 2014 sci-fi superhero blockbuster hopeful Guardians of the Galaxy hasn’t even gone before the cameras yet, but it has insane amounts of press and brownie points for assembling what has to be the most eclectic cast ever seen in a comic book adaptation.
In the past week alone the James Gunn-directed movie has added former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan and Oscar nominees Glenn Close and John C. Reilly to an acting ensemble that already included Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, David Bautista, and Lee Pace. Now, we can add to that line-up a bonafide Oscar winner.
Mike Fleming Jr. at Deadline has reported that Benicio Del Toro, who won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 2001 for his performance in Steven Soderbergh’s epic drama Traffic and has also given standout performances in The Usual Suspects and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, has joined the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy in a role that is still being kept under wraps.
In taking the unspecified part, Del Toro, who also has Paul Thomas Anderson’s Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice next up on his dance card, signed the customary multi-picture deal with Marvel that insures his presence in future sequels – should Guardians prove successful enough to warrant them – and other non-Guardians movies for the studio.
I’m not familiar with the Guardians universe, so I can’t help but be painfully unclear as to who Del Toro could be playing. Since all we know is that he is playing a lead, this could mean he would be another member of the team that hasn’t been cast or yet another elusive villain. I wouldn’t think Marvel and Gunn would hire a world-class thespian like him whose face is as recognizable as his voice to mo-cap a raccoon or talking tree, but stranger things have happened. Then again, he could be a character no one has anticipated yet. We’ll find out one of these days.
The casting of this movie keeps flooring me. Comic book movies are becoming very well-known for attracting huge names in the industry. You won’t hear me complaining. Three decades ago, even after the release of Superman: The Movie, many regarded comic books, sci-fi, and superheros as kid stuff. The atmosphere certainly has changed.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters on August 1, 2014. Now speculate away, dear readers. Who do you think Del Toro could be playing?