Chris Pratt Is Exactly What ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Needs

Behold the power of Marvel casting!

For the most part, everything on the studio’s docket of upcoming projects seems like an automatic slam dunk. Everyone’s thrilled with how “Iron Man 3″ is looking. Alan Taylor seems to have steered “Thor: The Dark World” toward a much needed tonal shift, and comic fans who know the “Winter Soldier” saga couldn’t be more pleased with the direction of the “Captain America” follow-up.

But what about “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the largely unfamiliar property scheduled as the direct prelude to “Avengers 2″? How will it fit in with the nicely cohesive cinematic universe? Sometimes all it takes is a spot-on casting choice to make everything click.

That’s what happened when Deadline announced that Chris Pratt, coming off a surprisingly effective turn in “Zero Dark Thirty,” will be Star-Lord for director James Gunn’s space saga.

Early word on the project was that Marvel wanted to strike a balance between humor and action, but with Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler’s names getting tossed into the long list of possibilities, the scale seemed to tip in one direction.

Pratt, especially post-“Zero Dark Thirty,” fixes that. If you’re watching him on TV’s current best sitcom, “Parks and Recreation,” you know the guy is effortlessly funny, using just line delivery to make a joke stick. (If you’re not watching, we’re done here.) “Zero Dark Thirty” then drastically changed our perception of what Pratt was capable of.

When he first meets Jessica Chastain’s Maya, his inflection is all Andy Dwyer, and you wonder if Kathryn Bigelow made a huge mistake. But once he starts spouting SEAL jargon and talking mission specifics, you realize there’s a whole other side to this guy.

If you previously doubted Marvel’s choice to pursue a “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, now might be the time to reconsider, because if casting Pratt is an indication of anything, it’s that they know exactly what they’re doing.

What do you think of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy”? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!