So… this was unexpected.   After the rumor mill noted that John Krasinski, Joel Edgerton, Jack Huston, Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace, Eddie Redmayne, and Zachary Levi were all in running to star as Peter Quill/ Star Lord, the lead character in Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt has emerged seemingly from nowhere and has been cast in the film.

Written and directed by James Gunn, the film centers on a group of more or less galactic police officers, lead by Peter Quill, an astronaut who becomes the half-alien Star Lord and leads the group.  And, according to /Film, it looks like Pratt (Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball) has been cast by Gunn in the lead role.

It’s something of a surprise who only know Pratt as the overweight and dimwitted Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec, but he proved his mettle (and muscle) in Zero Dark Thirty.  And, given how oddball Guardians looks to be, having an actor around with sharp comic timing probably couldn’t hurt.

Guardians of the Galaxy is set for an August 2014 release; however, rumors abound that one or more members of the Guardians will appear in the obligatory post-credits scene in Iron Man 3.

What do you think of the casting news?