Lee Pace will be heading from Middle Earth to deep space. The actor, who can currently be seen as the Elf king Thranduil in Peter Jackson’s three-part The Hobbit, is in final negotiations for the role of the lead villain in Marvel Studio’s upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy.
The Wrap is reporting that Marvel is keeping the name of the character under wraps for now, which is strange considering that since the end of last summer’s The Avengers everyone just assumed that the Big Bad the Guardians would be squaring off against would be Thanos, the villain who was the secret manipulator of the events of last summer’s superhero blockbuster. I suppose that it is possible that Pace could play the character in motion-capture, similar to the way that actor Damion Poitier created the role for his small appearance at the end of The Avengers. Outside of this, though, neither myself or Comic Book Film Editor William Gatevackes can think of a Marvel character related to Thanos that Pace could be playing. And if he is not playing Thanos, that would signify a major shift in the popular thinking about how the Guardians Of The Galaxy will feed into The Avengers 2.
Pace was originally up for the role of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s leader, Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. Though the role ultimately went to Chris Pratt, director James Gunn was impressed enough with his audition that he kept Pace in mind for another role in the film.
Production of Guardians Of The Galaxy is set to start in England in June for an August 1, 2014 release.