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Following a casting report from back in November, director Ron Howard spilled the beans earlier this month and revealed that Parks and Recreation star Chris Pratt has been confirmed to play the male lead in Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World. It was huge news for fans who both love Pratt's work as the lovably dumb Andy on the NBC series and those who are highly anticipating James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, which will be his first live-action starring role, but really all that excitement doesn't match the actor's own enthusiasm joining the dinosaur franchise.
This past weekend the actor was down at LEGOLand promoting his next film, The LEGO Movie, and when asked about his role in the upcoming Jurassic World Pratt not only confirmed the casting, but expressed just how much the Jurassic Park movies have meant to him. Speaking with QMI Agency (via PR Record Gazette), the star said,
"For me, Jurassic Park was really kind of my Star Wars. I lined up at the theatre to see it, I saw it opening night, I saw every sequel, I’ve seen it a whole bunch of times… for me that was my big movie, I think I was 13 or 14 when it came out. And so it’s a big deal for me to be any part of that, let alone this part I’m going to be playing. I’m thrilled about it."
Pratt is hardly alone in his appreciation of the dino-filled sci-fi series. Back in 1993 the first Jurassic Park movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, became one of the most successful blockbusters of all time. As the franchise has continued its brought in less and less money, Jurassic Park III making only $181 million domestically in its first run versus the first movie's $357 million take, but still the series has remained in the public consciousness. Said the actor, "Everybody around the world knows that franchise. When you say Jurassic Park, no one is like, ‘What’s Jurassic Park?’ More people know Jurassic Park than just about anything. I’m thrilled."
I personally couldn't be more excited for Pratt. The actor has spent years doing some great supporting work, not only on television but in movies like Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty, and 2014 looks like it very well could end up being his breakout year. There are few stars out there as insanely likable, and hopefully that winds up translating to great success when the next installment of the Jurassic Park franchise rolls around next year.
Jurassic World is on schedule to start production in June and will be in theaters on July 1st, 2015. Check out some of Pratt's next role in the LEGO Movie trailer below.