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With a film as popular as Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s inevitable that ancillary projects would arise to satisfy its rabid fan base. This creates a problem, as an actor like Chris Pratt put such a personal touch on a character such as Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord, recreating that sort of magic becomes a difficult. A new animated series recently premiered on Disney XD chronicling the ragtag team of intergalactic misfits but don’t expect it to emulate every element of the film.
In a recent interview with TVLine, voice actor Will Friedle opened up about the pressures of tackling the character of Star-Lord in animated form:
[Chris Pratt] gave a wonderful performance, totally knocked it out of the park. The idea of trying to do that just wouldn’t work, so I really had to go in saying, ‘I’ll take from that character what I can, then put my own lilt to it.’ The voice quality is completely different, but we keep the rough exterior and glib remarks. I’m certainly not trying to do a Chris Pratt impression.
This seems to indicate that while certain core traits of the character will remain, the show will endeavor to differentiate itself from the films. Certainly this feels like the smarter option, as attempting -- and subsequentiall failing -- to capture the magic of Guardians of the Galaxy could spell disaster for a series in its infancy. Marvel has already managed to do this in other animated properties. Their Avengers Assemble animated series perfectly encapsulates the character dynamics and tropes used throughout the films of the Marvel Cinematic Univere, but they do so in a way that makes it feel entirely different and distinct from the way the characters are portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans. Sure, Iron Man is still snarky, and Cap is still honorable, but never in a way that feels derivative. In the same way, the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series will likely capture the juvenile, scoundrel nature of Star-Lord, but in a way that suits Will Friedle's style more than Chris Pratt's.
Will Friedle has become accustomed to this sort of pressure. Agurably his most popular role came in the form of Neo-Batman Terry McGinnis in the short-lived – yet timeless – animated series Batman Beyond. In taking on the role of McGinnis, Friedle had to contend with all the stress that goes into altering an iconic character. He successfully created an element of the Batman mythos that not only rose from the shadow of characters like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, but actually went on to become an accepted part of the Batman canon – not unlike Harley Quinn. Fans should take solace knowing that if Star-Lord was going to go be put in anyone’s hands, there are few more capable than Friedle.
If nothing else, Friedle’s words only serve to further tantalize Guardians of the Galaxy fans. The animated series will give them something familiar, yet decidedly different from what they have come to love – and that’s a good thing. While we have only been treated to one episode of the series thus far, we will see what Friedle does with the character as Guardians of the Galaxy continues on Disney XD. Chris Pratt's iteration of Peter Quill will return to the silver screen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5, 2017.