With ‘Guardians 3’ Postponed, Chris Pratt Might Have Just Taken His Best Role Yet

These little inside-Hollywood alerts aren’t our typical jam in coverage, but every now and then we see something worth nudging you about. So here’s what’s going on: Chris Pratt has a gap in his schedule with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 postponed. He’s filled that gap with maybe his most promising role yet, given the talent involved. Here’s what’s going on.

Pratt has signed on to star in a new project from writer/director Taylor Sheridan. The movie is about a former special forces commando—that’s Pratt—recruited by the DEA to lead a black ops strike team against a group of drug dealers. The twist? Those dealers are protected by the CIA.

Okay, sounds cool but not amazing, so why the hype? Taylor Sheridan is the director behind one of last year’s most underappreciated movies, Wind River, and he wrote Sicario and Hell or High Water, the latter of which earned him a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination and the former which probably deserved the same. The bottom line: This guy is involved in really good movies focused on rich characters and themes. After a bunch of franchise turns for Pratt in Jurassic World and the MCU, this new movie could be a new kind of opportunity for the actor.

Sheridan has a track record of coaxing surprising performances out of his actors, too. Wind River has a great leading turn from Jeremy Renner, but it also puts Elizabeth Olsen over in a major way. Hell or High Water legitimized Chris Pine as a strong actor, and Sicario reminded us of the forces of nature that are Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro. Pratt’s following a long line of “whoa, didn’t know they had that in them” actors here. This could be huge for him.

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According to Variety, casting Pratt came after a long search for the movie’s star. He met with Sheridan and each of the men expressed immediate interest. The movie’s working under the title Fast (that will probably change), but keep an eye on it. America’s Favorite Youth Pastor could be about to break out in a new critical way.

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