If you had blindly asked someone in 2006 if they would rather play the part of Superman or Star-Lord in a superhero movie, odds are, most people would have said Superman. Or they may have said something like, "Who is Star-Lord?" For Chris Pratt, he ultimately wound up playing the part of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, which has worked out very well so far. But he was up for the role of Superman in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns and, even though he didn't land the role, he says he is happy he didn't ultimately land the Superman role.
The actor recently appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in order to promote Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which opens in theaters this weekend. During the conversation, Chris Pratt talked a bit about being up for the lead role in Superman Returns. Stephen Colbert said that he could see Chris Pratt as a superhero, but Pratt jokingly, though accurately replied, "The casting director did not agree." Given how things turned out with his role as Star-Lord, he says that the no he got for Superman ultimately led to a much more important yes.
"It just goes to show it's all divinely planned. So if it's not working out in the moment, just have faith that it might work out in the future. The 'nos' that you get today might mean an even more powerful yes in the future. Do you know what I mean? I'm happy I wasn't Superman!"
Landing the role of Superman in a movie seems like the kind of thing that any actor would dream of. It is the kind of thing that can make a career. The role ultimately went to Brandon Routh in Superman Returns and, while he has worked fairly steadily over the years, it didn't wind up being the franchise that he probably hoped it would be. The movie dramatically underperformed at the box office, bringing in just $391 million at the box office, working from a massive reported budget of $270 million. Even without the truly huge production costs, that isn't the kind of box office take that studios want from a massive tentpole like Superman Returns. The movie was fairly well-liked by critics, boasting a 76 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But it didn't resonate with fans at the time and it certainly hasn't since. Chris Pratt may have dodged a bullet.
By not landing the role in Superman Returns, Chris Pratt was able to move on to other projects, like playing Andy in Parks and Recreation. That, in turn, led to him eventually getting the part as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy and his leading role in Jurassic World. Fast forward just a few years and he is now one of the biggest, in-demand stars in Hollywood right now. Brandon Routh, on the other hand, is definitely not in that same boat. Though, he does have a role on Legends of Tomorrow and is still a successful actor. But there is no doubt that Star-Lord is going to be a massive credibility to Chris Pratt's resume in the coming years, whereas Superman would have been a flashy, but ultimately disappointing, one-and-done.
Chris Pratt will be reprising his role as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which opens in theaters on May 5, as well as starring as the character in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. He is also currently filming Jurassic World 2, where he will be returning as Owen Grady. You can check out the full clip from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert for yourself below.