That anticipation likely means that Jurassic World will have a huge opening weekend regardless of anything else in the film. But the long term prospects of the sequel depend on how the audience receives it. It’s up to Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, and Irrfan Khan to once again make us believe in their dinosaur co-stars.
Prior to Guardians of the Galaxy, Pratt wasn’t considered to be leading man material, much less an international box office draw. With Jurassic World, Pratt seems poised to become an even bigger movie star with two major film franchises to headline… and possibly a third, if certain rumors out of Disney are true.
But if all you know about Pratt comes from Guardians of the Galaxy, “Parks and Recreation” and The LEGO Movie, then you’ve got an incomplete picture of one of the more interesting Hollywood success stories from the past 13 years. Pratt was no overnight sensation, and his ascension to the top was well earned.
Ahead of Jurassic World’s release, ComingSoon.net has taken a look back at the roles that made Chris Pratt into the star that he is today. It’s evolution in action!
Although Pratt got his start in the little seen short film Cursed 3, his first big role was on “Everwood” as Bright Abbott, the onscreen brother of Amy Abbott (future “Revenge” star Emily VanCamp). Everwood was a teen drama on The WB, back when there was still a WB.
Pratt’s Bright was only a supporting character, but he stayed on the series for its entire four-season run.
The O.C. (2006)
Pratt transitioned from one teen drama to another when he landed on Fox’s “The O.C.” during its fourth season. Pratt portrayed an activist college student named Winchester “Che” Cook, and he appeared on a recurring basis throughout the season before being written out of the show.
But by then, “The O.C” wasn’t the pop culture force that it used to be and the series came to an end that season.
Wanted has the distinction of being Pratt’s first comic book movie… but not in a leading role. As you may have noticed, most of Pratt’s early roles were in a supporting capacity. Here, Pratt played Barry, the best friend of the main character, Wesley (James McAvoy) when they were both office drones.
It wouldn’t have been very memorable, except for Barry’s affair with Wesley’s girlfriend, which eventually led to Wesley smashing Barry’s face with a keyboard. Retroactively, it’s that time that Professor X knocked out Star-Lord, since both McAvoy and Pratt landed much bigger comic book characters a few years later.
Parks and Recreation (2009)
Pratt wasn’t even a series regular when “Parks and Recreation” began, but his character, Andy Dwyer, was a scene stealer and he was quickly promoted. More than any of Pratt’s previous roles, Andy is the one that began his meteoric climb. Even among a very talented cast, Pratt stood out as one of the best performers on the show.
The writers of “Parks and Recreation” also began crafting stories for Andy, with a long-simmering romantic arc opposite Aubrey Plaza’s April that resulted in their onscreen marriage.
Moneyball was the next major step in Pratt’s growth as a performer. As real life baseball player, Scott Hatteberg, Pratt was able to play a dramatic role that chronicled Scott’s struggle to stay in the game while learning a new playing position. It also didn’t hurt that Pratt was in a critically-acclaimed movie alongside stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Pratt had to drop thirty pounds to win his role in this film, and it wasn’t the last time that he’d have to physically transform himself to advance his career.
The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
2012 was a very good year for Chris Pratt at the movies. In The Five-Year Engagement, Pratt got to bring some of his Andy Dwyer brand of zaniness to Alex, the best friend of the film’s male lead, Tom Solomon (Jason Segel).
Pratt still hadn’t broken out as a leading man, but he brought a lot of charm to his role in this film. And it was amusing to see Alex’s relationship with Alison Brie’s Suzie, especially since both Pratt and Brie had comedies on NBC’s Thursday night schedule.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Pratt closed out 2012 with another dramatic turn in Zero Dark Thirty. As Justin, Pratt was a member of the U.S. Navy Seals who were sent to take out Osama bin Laden. Pratt once again dropped a significant amount of weight to convincingly play a military man.
While Pratt’s role in this film is relatively small, it helped changed the perception of him as “the doughy guy” from “Parks and Rec.”
The LEGO Movie (2014)
It wasn’t until 2014 that Pratt really started taking off as a star. And it began with his leading role in The LEGO Movie as the voice of Emmet Brickowski. To be honest, no one expected The LEGO Movie to be as good as it was, and Pratt’s performance helped that film turn into one of the biggest hits of the year.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
As amazing as The LEGO Movie was, it was Pratt’s turn as Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, in Guardians of the Galaxy that capped off his journey to leading man status. Prior to its release, Guardians of the Galaxy was mocked by Marvel’s detractors and it was widely predicted to be Marvel’s first flop.
Instead, Guardians of the Galaxy became a box office smash and it paved the way for Pratt to go on to even bigger roles.
Jurassic World (2015)
Pratt began filming Jurassic World months before it became clear that Guardians of the Galaxy would be a blockbuster film. Director Colin Trevorrow and executive producer Steven Spielberg were already convinced that Pratt was the right choice to be the new main character of the Jurassic Park franchise.
In Jurassic World, Pratt will play Owen Grady, a member of the park’s staff who has a unique bond with the Velociraptors. And when the inevitable disaster hits the park, it’s going to be up to Owen and his Velociraptors to save the day.
If Jurassic World lives up to its expectations and becomes another blockbuster, then it’s pretty safe to assume that Pratt will be back for a sequel. Pratt is already lined up for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 2017, but first he’ll appear in the remake of The Magnificent Seven, which is currently filming.
There are even rumors that Spielberg and Disney want Pratt to take over the title role in a proposed Indiana Jones reboot. But at this point, the Indy rumors have not solidified into anything real.
Jurassic World opens in theaters on June 12, 2015.