ByNathaniel Haywood, writer at
I'm a theatre teacher by day and a lover of movies by night. But really, I love them during the day too! I'm partial to dramas, action films
Nathaniel Haywood

It's happening somewhere. In some exclusive VIP bar, complete with velvet ropes and bottle service. Perhaps corner of a sound stage, dimly lit by a disgruntled grip who is only there for the union overtime. It could even be in a Tuscan villa overlooking gently rolling hilltops. But rest assured that somewhere the likes of Will Smith and Tom Cruise are sitting together. Crying.

Don't get me wrong - the aforementioned film actors are still bankable stars. Sort of. They still have the capacity to make great films, to be sure. Look no farther than Cruise's then-under-appreciated, now-new-favorite "[Edge of Tomorrow](movie:267902)." (You may have to look a little further for Smith's last great one.) But as swiftly as a peregrine falcon - if you've never seen one in action, shame on you...Youtube one...we'll wait - a new face is taking the reins as the potential star for the next decade of films. If you haven't guessed it from the gigantic picture and headline, it's obviously Chris Pratt.

This is so obvious that it's almost become old news. It's a rags to riches story. By rags, of course, we mean the hallowed halls of Pawnee and the ever-hilarious Parks and Recreation. But that chubby, seemingly brainless jokester turned into the chiseled and mischievous Star-Lord in the acclaimed [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073). Add in The Lego Movie and Jurassic World and the next thing you know, he's a household name. Cue the offers and speculation.

Chris Pratt's name is now being mentioned for roles ranging from a young Han Solo to a new Indiana Jones. Despite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's status as franchise Viagra, Pratt is being looked at by studios as the new purple pill. His buzz has reached the point that he's set to star in his very own star vehicle, The Real McCoy.

In the 21st Century, the bonafide movie star seemed to be a dying breed. The stars that made the most bank couldn't be relied upon for reliable returns anymore. Audiences seemed to be buying tickets for the content, regardless of the actor. That is still very much the case. But Pratt is set to defy that mold. In an era of private-turned-public actor meltdowns and freak-outs, he's refreshingly scandal-less. While many actors take themselves too seriously, Pratt is continuously willing to make a fool of himself via his characters in a way that Will Ferrell used to be able to do. It doesn't hurt that he's handsome, but you genuinely get the sense that he doesn't seem to care about it that much. He is, as much as can be possible, the male version of Jennifer Lawrence.

People respect a man who worked hard to get to where he is and is humble and appreciative about it; that's Pratt in spades. So while the old guard continues to hang on with Mission: Impossible 12's and Men in Black 14's, the younger generation will inevitably be looking ahead - right at a guy named Star-Lord. Legendary outlaw. Maybe you've heard of him?

What do you think? Actors primed to take the Hollywood driver's seat?

(My apologies to Tom Cruise and Will Smith. You were the easiest - and most logical - targets to make my point. Good luck with your franchises. Make mine ƒ[Marvel](channel:932254), though.)


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